for Lian Canty’s Alphabet Menagerie, a V poem
If you forget why it’s good to be patient,
consider the Venus fly trap.
And ask the velociraptor
if you forget why it pays to run fast.
If you ever forget death’s a blessing,
ask the vulture who sits on the wire.
And if you forget how fast things change
ask volcanoes what they know of fire.
And vanilla, it will give you a taste
if you forget it’s a gift to be plain.
The viper can help you remember
to respect anything that has fangs.
If you forget aging is sweet,
ask the vineyard about harvest time.
If you forget aging is painful,
the Victrola can tell you sometime.
If you forget that every touch matters,
ask the violin how it makes sound.
If you forget how to love the darkness
ask the vole why he lives underground.
There is no shame in forgetting.
It’s a matter of gracious surrender
and learning to ask the world to help us
(even if we don’t want to) remember.