Photo by Michael Chilcoat

Back 40: Genesis

In the beginning, at the kitchen table,
my three children with paper and crayons,
shoulders bent low and hands fisting
the task before them.

Lo, through the wide windows
the morning shown down upon artistic intentions,
and the sun’s slant rays rained
a glittered drift of pine pollen, spray of stardust,
as pages transformed, filled

with trees of leafy green, turquoise lake and sky, purple-grey
cluster of clouds enshrouding the highest reaches
of a distant craggy range. Whole neighborhoods
begotten. Barns. Fenced acres of spotted cattle, grazing.

And birds everywhere. I could hear them sing
as I passed through the room on this day
of creation, pulled on my boots, opened the door,
to behold the vastness, the particulars, the swirl

and churn of genesis, circumstance and inspiration,
my children and their children and theirs awash
in the world’s possible outcomes, joyously enraptured, laboring
to guide the butterfly — this one colored orange/yellow —

supping from a tall flower,
which hath blossomed bold and blood red.
That one. Corner of the garden.
Edge of the page. Right there.

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