The Teacher

to Oak Olivam

This morning, I watched your delighted eyes
observe the squirrel snacking on crabapple berries,
grasping bare branches, limbs clinging to a cold sky.
Each quick movement of paws and twitch of tail was
caught in the lattice of your unfolding awareness -
tracery of wonder. You held your gaze. I wanted to see
how rhythmically the small mammal plucked and chewed
and paused, the bobbing dance of skillfully traversed treetops,
but I could not look away from the profile of your sunny brow,
your lashes laced with light pouring in through the window
and settling like a traveling cloak on your small body.
Where will you journey, little one? I wanted to listen
for the note in the chattering birdsong that made you smile,
but your mesmerized mouth breathed a quiet poetry
that softly filled my ears with its thoughtlessness.
What mysteries will your life reveal? I wanted to catch
the moments of blossoming beauty that animated your fingers
to trace the air as if memorizing the movements of gathering,
but I accomplished nothing I can capture or measure or recount
with the clarity of your awe, the power of your attention.
How will your learning teach this humble disciple? In silence,
you turn to me, your eyes offering countless wordless answers.