The Fragility of Wildflowers

Over there
where the flowers push up
through the rubble
do you know their story
how they used to dance
year and year and year

Wildflowers in the meadow
wildflowers in the spring
wildflowers in the breeze
fragile and sweet
dancing for the deer
and mice
dancing for the bear
and butterflies
dancing for the hunters and the gatherers
who came each year for the camas
and the elk
dancing in perpetual harmony

And of how the men came one day
with their plans and schemes
for a new way of being
a way of acquiring
of accumulating
a way of more

Slowly at first
a small corner of the great meadow
modest and seemingly natural
a new neighbor to be welcomed
and enfolded into the greater balance
but their appetite
unappeased by harmony
left no room for the flowers
no room for the meadow

An altar
a monument
a monolith
sucking all it consumed through its
lengthening stem
ravening and voracious
siphoning upward
concentrating at its topmost
like a rigid concrete flower
never enough

So full of itself
so top-heavy with consumption
the slender stalk
swayed in the slightest breeze
so fragile that a winter storm
brought it down one day
that pile of rubble there
where the wildflowers
are pushing through

And the people
the ones on their knees
they pray to the legend
of this crumbled cathedral
they pray for its secrets and wealth
for its forgotten glory
they pray to the myth
and they are hungry and fearful
and angry
for they have forgotten how to live in balance
to live harmoniously

Why do they not ask the meadow
resurgent around them
or the deer recently returned
or the butterfly
or the bear
and the wildflowers pushing up
through the rubble
why not ask them
they are not so fragile
they are not hungry
or angry
they did not forget

Marv Himmel
January 10, 2017 ©

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