Saturday Poem

This Neruda Earth

Sitting against a treetrunk in Delores Park
amid the Chilean solidarity gathering,
my eyes beheld three tiny daisies
in the grass, their little pollen hearts
attacked by flies. Nearby, yellowjackets
were flying over a jungle of blades
of grass and brilliantly green-backed
horseflies were making merry on
a flute of dogshit. I had lowered
my eyes from the speeches, and even
the People's Tribune was stacked at
my side. So much movement
in nature. A butterfly alighted on
the front page and walked along
the headline as if reading it. The
flies went on eating the hearts out.
The horseflies were absolutely drunken
on the excrement. The yellowjackets
were strafing and landing and
taking off again. It was the guerilla
war, it was mir, it was peace. So much
movement, so much space in an inch. This
Neruda Earth.

by Jack Hirschman
from Poetry Like Bread
Curbstone press, 1994

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