But Enough About Me
This is for the ants, the ancestors, 
the obsolete street car, the crumpled
candy wrapper the street sweeper
misses month after month. We should pause
for the hickory nut rotting in the ditch,
the amputees of Dayton and Fort Wayne,
the widows of the 23rd Airborne Division, 
the shrew left for dead by the pure white cat
outside the office door.

Citizens, let us revere that which does not budge 
from one childhood to the next, 
i.e. the Dairy Bar, her chocolate frappes,
her tawny brick, her many features stoic and eternal 
excepting her inflating prices.

We should mourn the lost book report 
now under a road-stained snow bank, 
the brook trout blasted elsewhere
by a firecracker jammed up its ass,
the plain, heartbreaking failures
of the Carter Administration.

Let us now praise the Squirrel Lady 
and the Butter Queen. Let us cheer
the Austerlitz Volunteer Fire Department’s
annual lobster shoot and barbeque. 
May it arrive soon. Let us commend 
both the peach-blueberry tart and its creator.
Let us celebrate the Little League team
mired in last place, the left fielder
who’s turned his fear into heroism. 
Let us acknowledge the efforts of the oaks
holding the edge of the meadow.

There is no reason not to honor
the bear who tolerates the subdivision,
if occasionally raiding its delights.
The triumph of crabgrass cracking the asphalt.
The before-dinner nap also deserves our respect.

Please pay tribute to the stone fence
forgotten by extinct farmers,
thanklessly dividing beeches from pines,
accreting into the entropy of needles and grubs.

Remember the paper cranes
folded by the thousand each Hiroshima Day.
May their feigned wing-flaps in the hands
of New York children eulogize the clouds,
distribute our molecules, 
dissipate this sting that is history.
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