Negligible – Poem

Luci Shaw

Negligible

The ant, brief as a second,

lone scout of dew and peony petals,

black on cream. Easy to pluck,

and a trifling crunch

under foot.

The dust mite also,

invisible to the eye, invading

pillows, mattresses, with her

generations–fuse for my

explosive allergies.

Assumed: that we will stand in awe

of larger things, like the bulldozer

tearing the ancient cedars

from the lot down the road. Or a bomb.

Or the oceans. Or the expanding universe.

But let us up-end our thoughts:

What matchstick of vexation

lights the slow wick of rancor.

How like a parasite

it eats at our gut.

And how one moment’s

catalytic radiance (think: St. Clare,

at Portiuncula) tilts, overturns the universe,

plants our feet on heaven’s

widening threshold.

COPYRIGHT 2003 The Christian Century Foundation

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

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