MESSENGER

If, as Mary Oliver says, my job is loving the world,
then today it is easy: a bright sun, low humidity,
high clouds lightly frilling the sky, which seems
to be stretching into tomorrow. In the garden,
tomatoes are slowly fattening into redness, eggplants
are sunning their purple rumps, heavy on their stems,
and melons are swelling, fat with juice. Everything
in the process of becoming. At the sugar feeder,
hummingbirds dart and whir in a busy blur,
and the perennials are going at it for all they're worth
blue-green Russian sage, a river of golden daylilies,
white ruffled phlox, magenta loosestrife. At dusk,
swallows slice the air before the bats come out.
With all of this, why are we anxious? Why is it
difficult to share? Here, sweetness gathers.
It's summer, full to the brim. But out there, brassy
politicians are trumpeting the unthinkable: nuclear
brinkmanship. Drought and famine. Cities reduced
to stones. The rising seas. How can we balance
scarcity and surplus, greed and gratitude? Why
aren't we amazed by everything we have?
Barbara Crooker
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