1. I’m wriggling up a leather hill,
    hard rubber sill,
    rough surface — still
    my brother dangles above me,
    can’t get down, a
    furry yellow soldier
    tangled in his orders in the air.


    Imagine if all of us were caterpillars,
    all inching toward that one branch
    or leaf whence we spread our wings
    to carry out a bounden duty of flitting
    from one rose garden to a hillock
    smothered by a rainbow of pansies:

    Would we race to the highest branch
    and shed our cocoon shackles quickly
    to fulfill this raison d’etre of spreading
    beauty where it is scarce or now gone?
    Imagine if all that we lived for were a
    task as gleeful as this godlike whimsy.

    Would we not scale beyond this boot,
    and swing beyond this silken thread?
    Or tear through bramble or grappling
    gossamer webs that drag us down
    even as we crawl toward sunlit fronds
    to spread our wings and get beauty done?

    —Albert B. Casuga


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