Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Stress yourself out with lists and likes?
Bother not your heart with getting ahead.
Offer not your soul upon the altar of mankind’s notice.
His desire ne’er shall be quenched.
Perhaps you are a snow-covered field.
Dense fog hovers heavy over your barren purity.
Your crop, black,
Shorn by blade,
Thin, stick tops slant and stiff in white,
Beneath gray and weight of ground,
Your quiet strength sits and prays.
Eyes shut, mouth presses silent
Liplines of frost tightly
Keep your ears open
For the footfall of the hare, turkey, and mouse
Who have come to keep vigil
On this midwinter day:
Companions to feed upon your dying stems.
Do one more thing?
Rest in your hidden beauty which gives,
Not from bounty,
But from what has been left behind.
*This is a found poem, whose first lines I drew from “The Summer Day” by poet Mary Oliver (1935-2019).