I think of the children who will never know, intuitively, that a flower is a plant’s way of making love, or what silence sounds like, or that trees breathe out what we breathe in.
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If I’m in your way, just knock
me down. I don’t mind; I’ve been
on the floor. Our dog used to lie
on the rug under the table. I’ve been
the rug, and what’s under the rug.
Not just the dust, but the floorboards
and the underside of the floorboards,
which is the top of the basement,
which is my kind of height. I can get lower.
I’ve been the basement in the dark
months with only the cold
light slanting through. I’ve been
the silver light on the cement. Remember
that handprint we found, a child’s hand,
pressed into the concrete? There
was a name and a date.
One of the fingers was missing.
I’ve been as low as the shadow
in those shallow knuckles. I’m above
the dirt, but just barely. You could say,
“Excuse me.” I’ll move sideways. I’ve been
sideways. I slipped past the plaster
and slats, such a slight movement
you never even heard me,
breathing in the walls of the house.