Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Million Years Ago in Moab

It's tempting to be impressed
with time in a place like this
where precarious boulders
as big as the pyramids
hang over interrupted
tumbles to the valley floor
motionless millenia,

where fluffy pastries of rock
pile thousands of layers high,
each of those layers laid down
one fine age at a time,
shoved down deep under epochs,
raised up high over epochs,
crumbling down through more epochs.

Such topography declares
a million years ago
might as well be yesterday,
even if the town below
scarcely claims one century
and the current occupants
manage a few decades each.

If so, then what's a moment,
what's a windy afternoon
in a green park full of chimes?
Dust scoured from dark sandstone bluffs
where it last settled as dust
a few hundred million years ago
settles without answering

in the pale buds and sepals
of the beginning of spring,
in our daughter's eyelashes,
in the weave of the blanket
spread for our short-lived picnic
on new grass beside those chimes
where children bang their musics.

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