In Homage to Leaves of Grass

You're my Analects,
           my Gita,
           my Dao De Jing,
           my sutras,
           my Meditations,
           and my Republic
 all rolled into one.

You are the scripture by which I live.

You present a path to that rare place:
            extreme confidence
            which tears no one down,

            but, rather, lifts all.

You achieve this by crushing 
            the ordinary.

Nothing is common.

Everything is a miracle. 
            (Even those leaves of grass
                      you repeatedly reference.)

No one is so rough
             or promiscuous
             or simple
as to be lowly.

Your author's unbridled enthusiasm 
             glowed with the insane confidence
             of an adolescent boy,
but his awesomeness was never gained
             by subtracting from others.
Rather by seeing the bright, beautiful spark 
             in each body,
             pair of hands,
             & burdened shoulder. 

You are America,
             the America we want to be.

The America that labors,
             but which takes time to see
             its natural wonders. 

The America that heard what Jesus said,
             and became less excelled at stone-throwing,
             and more at cheek-turning.

The America that could see beyond dogma
             and hard-edged tribalism,
             and could learn from all the 
             grand & glorious people 
             who reached its shores --

So that we could be the best version of ourselves
            through the strengths of all of us,
            and not be stymied by missing 
            the great beauty & knowledge
           among us. 

You pair away the extraneous burdens
            which tax the mind,
and show us what the world looks like

You teach one to see a beauty
            that is so well hidden 
            that its own possessor doesn't 
                      recognize it.

You are the song of a life well lived.

6 thoughts on “In Homage to Leaves of Grass

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