arboreal prayer

white blossom in my hand Under an old tree’s shade a miniature world reveals itself
slowly, like a secret being whispered.
I listen, leaning against rough bark, watching the boughs above
spin like spokes as the bright sky drives me dizzy with its heat.
Suddenly, among the leaves, warm wind leads a recitation.
It sounds as rote as mealtime grace, yet the words
contain a sincerity uncommon to habitual phrases.
“We suffer nobly because we are small,” say the leaves.
“Our suffering remains small because we are noble.
Our glory peaks when our plainness shows the blossoms’ beauty.
Blossoms’ beauty peaks when our glory hides in plainness.
Therefore: Life to the bees! Honey to all mankind!”
Then the wind unwinds and the leaves hush.
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