Love for Other Things
by Tom Hennen
It’s easy to love a deer
But try to care about bugs and scrawny trees
Love the puddle of lukewarm water
From last week’s rain.
Leave the mountains alone for now.
Also the clear lakes surrounded by pines.
People are lined up to admire them.
Get close to the things that slide away in the dark.
Be grateful even for the boredom
That sometimes seems to involve the whole world.
Think of the frost
That will crack our bones eventually.
So yesterday - the discovery of a new poet, Tom Hennen, thanks to the Writer's Almanac.
As it so happens, I've been working on loving what's difficult to love. The crusty snow and the slippery sidewalks. The midwinter melting of snow which leads to uncertain footing, unevenness on the path. The days when the sky is dark or grey. It was such a drab week, last week, I only took my camera out a couple of times. And this particular day, I'm not even sure why I took it.
The low grey sky was oppressive. The ice was tricky enough to walk on without having to think about taking photographs.
But then this pretty cloud appeared above it all.
"Get close to the things that slide away in the dark," says Hennen, and this cloud did slide away.
I walked toward it and photographed it as it moved, changed, slowly. Then I stood and watched it, standing by the fence in deeper snow. It was not at all difficult to love, but then it was gone.