Nature, the Other, the Big Outside
In Memory of Howard Zahniser
Okay, now don’t look me square in the eye
but watch my ears wiggle — you see him there,
my father, your grandfather, a wise guy
(who was also a wise-guy), taught me to stare
at nothing hard enough to make my ears move.
It’s a great skill if like me you can’t dance
but still feel the need to strut some and groove
dressed not in Nordstrum slacks but Goodwill pants.
Okay, open that window there — yes, wide.
What’s out there is everything that’s not you.
Sure, nature—the other, the big outside,
what redeems you, where you go to renew
yourself, learn to listen, maybe make vows.
Smell that? Not fire and brimstone — balsam boughs.