Mudlark Flash No. 123 (2018)

Robert Wrigley

The Consciousness of Everything

                    from children’s questions

Consider the happiness of an empty hand
from which the horse has taken a carrot;
or the house that sits on once empty land
and the land that now loves to bear it.

What does sun feel for a shadow?
the horse’s hoof for the shoe of steel?
Which loves most for the car to go,
the people inside or the wheels?

The mirror, smitten with the left-handed man,
offers a right-handed one in return.
Spoon loves soup and soup the can,
and the log in the stove lives to burn.

Of its stink the stinkbug’s especially fond
and the stink admires the stinkbug too.
Frog spawn adores the murk of the pond,
and number one’s infatuated by zero and two.

Two’s enchanted by four and six
and all six sides love the cube.
Snow digs cold and ice likes its slicks
but toothpaste despises the tube.

My daughter asked, “Is the wind a girl?”
and I told her she sure must be,
since wind is brave and travels the world,
delighting her brother the weather, and trees.

That time’s lost now, when a stone could hurt,
when a feather missed its wing,
when sky kissed clouds and grass kissed dirt
and nothing thought itself just a thing.

I take my time in the woods today
saying hello to every this and that,
as though the world were still that way,
when my head was beloved by my hat.



Robert Wrigley’s most recent book is Box (Penguin, 2017). Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Idaho, he lives with his wife, the writer Kim Barnes, in the woods near Moscow, Idaho.

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