have worked with several hundred
hard-hearted insect cousins, each one of them
aquamarine, argumentative, melodramatic.
At family reunions, it's hard not to
be judgmental about their petty affairs and pokey aspirations,
to lose my mind in thin soup and white bread.
Still, I've organized hundreds of outings
to athenaeums and observatories, penny arcades and refuges,
and the crowds of faces, shoulders touching
shoulders, feet touching feet, noses touching
the places snowflakes latest fell, remind me that
gray pokes from my chin and I'm not surprised
by the face I see in the train window. Next stop:
an anthill we jointly inherited. Every time I make the trip
I make hasty judgments, wear the wrong shoes---
sandals in January!---and read the wrong signs into
all these spindly relations. The world I know is just a mound of
tribes and hitchhikers, widening
like Uncle Bill's waistline. No wonder he turns to food in such
a hurry every time I pull out my tambourine. But it's Arbor Day,
and I'll pick you up with my bicycle
once you stop annoying the cousins with your
relentless engagement to reason. Let me be your fiancÚ instead,
rub oil on your head, kiss behind your ears.
Every trainwreck we pass could be our last possible chance.