The Religion of Giant Trees

Our neighborhood lives, moves,
and has its being
under an incantation of foliage,
noisy bird commotions,
whispering leaves.

The little boy next door calls to me
from his open window “Quentin, Quentin.”
All he wants is a wave,
a wave from a-man-who-has-time,
under huge branches, to wave.

Today he came over with his father
to see our cat, again.
What is so magical, as fur that moves,
has eyes, and a long tail?
But I do not know where it is.
So I bring out Blanca’s coat folded in my arms
holding it with fur collar curled up.
“Gato dormido” I say, (cat is sleeping).
He studies the fur, looks for ears, for a tail,
examines it closer, then bursts out laughing,

Yesterday he called out to me,
met me in the middle of the road,
bright eyes, open face
to show me a complicated toy
when twisted and modified becomes a turtle.
(Has he ever seen a real turtle?)
He is delighted by his own demonstration
and jabbers on in Spanish  
things I cannot understand.
“Muy bien,” I say a few times, “muy bien” (very good).

There may be more poems written than are read,
Earthlings try to hold fleeting moments up close,
to love them, to look at them more slowly,
and to save them, no matter how impossible.
Weeds become wild flowers.
A child’s toy becomes delight, becomes a turtle.
Poet religion cast by giant trees
(twice as tall for the child as for me!)
becomes as pervasive as the shade.

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