Posts Tagged ‘chemistry’

for Summer and Autumn       
Tonight, while buying bread,
I saw my son’s beloved friends—
and as I held them in my arms
and thrilled at the connection,
I imagined how my friendship
with them is a kind of covalent bond—
we join just as atoms are held
together through shared electrons.
My sweet son is the electron.
To anyone else watching,
it might have looked like a hug,
but I know with all my matter,
this energy (I call it love)
this is how the world was made.

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Any chemistry student
can tell you: a substance
that undergoes transformation
must first be torn apart.
I have been torn apart.
I have felt the breaking,
the rearranging,
and now the rebuilding
of my bonds. I marvel
at the brand new molecules—
how they transform
from despair to openness.

Though I look the same
and sound the same,
there is no mistaking
I am forever changed—
but not by sorrow, no.
Sorrow is the catalyst
that speeds it all up.
But it is love absorbed
that is breaking the bonds,
and love that evolves
as new bonds are made.

Some days I feel it,
I am less what I was and more
whatever it is that drives
the autumn, the spring.
Every day the chance
for love to find its way in.
And each time love helps me
to meet the unmeetable,
the reactant of self
becomes offering.  

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Wiping the spider mites

off the gardenia,

I am not proud of the work.

I know the nearly invisible pests

will not go away

if nothing is done.

The gardenia will die

if they thrive.

I reduce us all to protons

and electrons, gluons and quarks,

all of us more similar than not,

perhaps even exchanging

parts as I move the damp cloth

across the leaves

in an attempt

to keep something whole

even as the world

spins apart.


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