_____quick glance down
_________________through hackberries

___________reveals between
_________________the ampersands of limbs
_______________________and cross-hatched, indecisive trunks

_____a green I’d easily miss if not for how its

_____seems ordained,
_________________a template back behind

___________the world that I can see or know.
_________________The same is true in conversation:
_______________________the words–misshapen, tangled–

_____and then the sun-struck wordlessness beyond.

_____think I hear some days
_________________the intercessions

___________made on our behalf,
_________________as numerous as dandelion stems
_______________________the earth itself cannot keep track of,

_____seed heads given to the wind. What

_____each of us do
_________________but listen,

___________allow the other’s voice–naïve,
_________________defenseless–a space
_______________________so that behind the story

_____being told of helping turtles cross the road, one can

_____even the ditch grass brush along
_________________one of the side-turned faces

___________bound for wherever turtles go,
_________________aloof on four tentative legs
_______________________on an earth so plentiful

_____it only makes sense to trust what’s out ahead.

Jeff Hardin