Friday, August 2, 2013

Today's Miracle During Which
The Hero Bravely Holds On
Long Enough To Be Saved

Mourning has its joys
by the side of a garden grave
in a moment's freedom
when the veil disappears
and longing allows reunion
with the longed-for
in spirit and in memory
a miracle sweeter than life
because it embraces also death.

That moment today goes a'wandering
expanding into tender quest
for a new garden rock
that leads the mourner
freely off the woods path
to a still creek sidewater
where a struggle to survive
is well underway.

Underneath a sinewy juniper
a big green caterpillar
its fuzzy back still dry
floats in a small patch of water
on its long thick belly
its myriad legs mightily
paddling in place
within a green algae mat
a foot or so from shore
heaving its back upward
over and over again
attempting to free itself
from its daunting predicament.
its lunges a prayer for escape
up and down
front to back
its desperation sending
tiny waves breaking
through the green mat
providing glimpses
of the dark water below
as its great strength sags
its back's urgent arch
creates attention for its plight
sending ripples into the unknown.

Underneath a low juniper bough
(Had it been caterpillar's perch?)
lodged at the cusp of bank and water
a flat limestone rock
whitened by the sun
and smoothed by creek flow
is gripped by the mourner
and dipped through the algae
to become raft
on which valiant caterpillar
rises from one destiny to another
borne from the creekside
its metamorphosing form
spent relaxed and flying
through the Spring air
to higher and dryer landing
under a cousin juniper.

Once caterpillar has recovered
and inched elsewhere
the limestone raft
will again be transposed
and placed carefully nearby
the garden of the grave
of the longed-for
where perhaps one day
when narcissus is blooming
a certain strong-winged beauty
will pay a visit.

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