When you pray

to the silver maple

arms across its bark body

cheek against grizzled wood.


When you drink

from the water faucet

lined up after recess

your friend’s lips

pursed in glory,

clear stream bubbles

between flesh and chrome

sunlight highlights

brown hair, small limbs.


When you dance

at a summer festival

the band cues a holy drum roll

a sax bellows blue grass blankets

winter toes relish spring,

green blades tickle ankles.


When you breathe

the scent of cinnamon

candy your papa bought

to cover tobacco breath, coffee

the scent of wet wool warms the spine.


When you let the mother of four go ahead

take back the cart for a stranger,

when you pick up park litter the critters

left behind, stretch for the high pieces

caught in evergreen boughs.


When you brake for a squirrel,

release the mother raccoon with her babies

in a forest glen outside the city

where creeks run and rivers pour fish

where oak roots mingle spread gossip

beneath our hiking boots, our footprints.