What if we rose with the sun and sang each morning,
Sticking our heads through windows or chasing after
Creeks in our nightclothes? What if we rummaged
For our breakfasts under layers of decay? What if
We turned our faces to the sun? What if we ate
Sunlight and drank rainwater? What if our bodies grew
Down into the earth, clutching the soil in our twining toes,
Binding us to one place? What if we lived centuries,
Each year stretching the miles of lives
Underneath our canopy? What if we lived silently?
What if we bloomed pink and purple, yellow or orange
When we got what we needed? What if we
Passed winter curled underground with our families
And our stores of fat and food? What if we scurried
Through life on an endless quest for berries,
Mushrooms, and grubs? What if we were the grubs?
© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved
Last Friday Ruth at There Is No Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town shared Mary Oliver’s poem How Would You Live Then? I was so taken by the form of the poem with its repeating “what if” questions I wanted to give it a try. As you can see my questions took me in a different direction.
For more Poetry Friday, go to A Teaching Life.