The Wetlands Park

In the dark stillness comes a chirp, a trill
     And in the background always the low rumble and growl of the city
The sky gently lightens to misty aqua over glowing gold
The trees are black lace shadows
Birds and crickets coax the dawn
The heavens lazily bloom with teal, mauve and palest peach
And trees and brush emerge from black to shades of green
Now the sun is lighting the treetops
All it touches glows with radiance
The goldenrod blazes
A chickadee poses on a yaupon tree among red berries
     begging for a snapshot
Every brown twig
The hawk perching high on a barren tree
A lone white blossom with its golden heart
Each clump of cattails
The Chinese tallow with red, green, and orange leaves
Each calling for its portrait
     ("I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille")
What if I walked through my life as I've walked through this park?
Would I learn that sometimes it just takes 
     waiting for the night to pass
          and for the golden hour to transfigure everything?
If I passed through the world slowly with my eyes open
     what hidden beauty would I see in the mess
          and wreckage of everyday mortals?
What shy wonders will I be privileged to behold
     if I am patient and attentive and kind?
The quiet caterpillar only needs a closer look to reveal its magic
And once someone has blazed with glory
     can they ever return to being just another weed?
A rabbit freezes, silhouetted dark on the pale, dewy grass -- no, two!
We watch each other for a while
Then one takes another mouthful of weeds and chews thoughtfully
Ducks slap their way to flight
     a brief soar
          then splashdown in the bayou
An egret tiptoes gingerly through the shallows
On my way back, a deer stops and stares
She bounds back into the brush with a splash
And she and her companions show their snowy tails in retreat
A puddle in the weeds glows blue with reflected sky
Even brambles and thorns are transfigured into works of art in this magical light
Every tree is a statuesque beauty queen
A fuzzy caterpillar is breathtaking
A dewdrop shimmers crystal on a blade of grass
Against the brilliant blue of the sky no tuft of reed is without splendor
Lingering and looking, I spy a gulf fritillary sunning in a cypress
And a monarch among the weeds
There floats another across my path

by Celeste Boudreaux, November 2018

Next post: The Well: a parable

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