Thank you for these tiny particles of ocean salt, pearl-necklace viruses, winged protozoans: for the infinite, intricate shapes of submicroscopic living things. For algae spores and fungus spores, bonded by vital mutual genetic cooperation, spreading their inseparable lives from equator to pole. My hand, my arm, make sweeping circles. Dust climbs the ladder of light. For this infernal, endless chore, for these eternal seeds of rain: Thank you. For dust.
Marilyn Nelson - 1946-
(Mather AFB, California, 1956) When we play horses at recess, my name is Moonlily and I’m a yearling mare. We gallop circles around the playground, whinnying, neighing, and shaking our manes. We scrape the ground with scuffed saddle oxfords, thunder around the little kids on swings and seesaws, and around the boys’ ball games. We’re sorrel, chestnut, buckskin, pinto, gray, a herd in pastel dresses and white socks. We’re self-named, untamed, untouched, unridden. Our plains know no fences. We can smell spring. The bell produces metamorphosis. Still hot and flushed, we file back to our desks, one bay in a room of palominos.