ELEGY IN A PUDDLE
Not being here, he can’t see
this inky portrait of a tree,
much less the tree against the sky
which is the limit of the eye,
reminding us that the cost
of Paradise is that it’s lost.
While Heaven fitted in a puddle
like a ship is His rebuttal.
We shrug at shade like wind or fog, though in autumn
gusts of paper-shuffling in lofty offices
will roil a lawn like God’s face on the waters.
True, these don’t shake the thrones of thickened things —
a banker’s manse sprawled on its throne of lawn,
where heavy elms warn lovers to move on.
They’ll fall in time the way all despots fall:
first the midget in his braided tunic,
then his statue toppled with a rope.
And though we’d rather have an apple than
the apple’s shadow, it’s not wrong to think
how clouds as vast as ranches sadden Kansas.