With fists, with words, with kindness
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for David Baker
Set back in the trees
the mock Gothic sanctuary
was stained by shadows and light.
Around it, low hills lapsed across
the fields as if to show how pride
could be edified into grace.
As we approached, walking down a path
where tulip poplars spilled cool basilicas
of shade at our feet, you stopped
and pointed straight overhead. A plane,
hardly the size of an insect,
so far off it was out of hearing.
But, as you said, a perfect example of poise
amid the large mercies of the infinite.
This back way home
through swaying grass
is the way we found one night
this summer when rain
made everything seem taller.
We’re walking that same way
tonight in the faint
beginnings of September
as another rain reaches down
to touch us, and great trees
drip water into the grass.
It’s true. We still discover our lives
in quiet ways in the dark
even if for a moment we think
it’s not the rain we hear
but a satisfying click
as everything settles into place.