If the World Hadn’t Stopped

 

If the world hadn’t stopped
its incessant orbit,
its frantic motion – one day to the next –
if all the people hadn’t halted their wars,
their value counted in barrels of oil,
I expect I wouldn’t have seen the sun brightening, blue by blue,
or known the smell of the morning air, fresh,
as I go sniffing like a cat
to catch a whiff of what has gone before.
I would not have opened my window, grateful,
or wondered at the sound of humans calling into the night to give thanks.

I expect I wouldn’t have stopped midday to pray,
my arms lifted beside the lonely tree,
its branches lifted, also, in gratitude
for the magic of the sun, the sky, the dusk and dawn.
We would not have murmured together at the light
of the lilies at dusk,
at the quiet that hangs over the morning air,
at the call of the crow hoarding its bounty,
all of us inhabitants of this magnificent earth.

Mary Elyn Bahlert, 5/1/2020

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