A Small Life


I don’t know if there is a smaller life
to hope for. A river
passing the house. The fish
floating in the pit
of its belly, unmoved
by the water. Daisies
at the roadsides. The roads
without shoulders. The sun, less
terrible somehow. Children
flitting in & out of fields
like a kaleidoscope
of butterflies, speaking
the language of wings.
And love is a kind of survival, —
the river rushing past
that teaches the fields how
to pray. The small flowers
that erupt in spring. The butterflies
that feed on nectar & pollen
from the common milkweed.
Butterflies may only live a week,
moving from petal to delicate
petal, from field to sun
-warm field, wings open to take
the sun inside, to lift them,
to hold them high, then higher
than need, than the green world
they’ve blessed with light, & colour,
& the impossible beauty of wings,
of so many hearts, swiftly beating.

Chelsea Dingman

Author’s Website @chelsdingman