How learn to be contented
with what is, to desire
the things you this moment
are lucky enough to have?

Letters packing checks
or some unexpected praise,
as if a phrase could strike
off sparks from a fire

you first started, how
can they compete with this
special delivery of leaves,
so prodigal they geyser,

bruise-red, worn old gold,
on every breeze? Stamped
as they are by every second,
they accurately relate

all you need to know.
This valedictory ticking
of a cricket, our grass's
last, amounts to music

apt as any instrument
is master of. And still
the human with its making
is no less considerable,

confessing treasure
too secretive or diffuse
to be appreciated at once,
like the face, cracked

and faded in a mosaic,
yet sufficiently haunting
to trace itself in the mind,
through your feelings find

renewal on your fingertips
as they read the pulsings
in your loved one's word-
and sigh-brushed lips.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 9 Number 2, on page 47
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