frozen rigid in salute
crumple and crunch underfoot
as the piercingly penetrating air
windless and bristled in alert
hovers in the stillness that is broken
by the intermittent cacophony
of trodden, crestfallen grass
that bursts with complaint
as its crystalline casing shatters
yielding it limply obeisant
and bowing in instant humility.
Does the turf ask, “Why me right here
and not that other bit of meadow over there?”
Does the prickling frigid atmosphere
want to tell me to shush, to stop interrupting
and making such a ruckus by walking in this field?
Do they want me to go home and leave them be
or are they proud to be visited,
witnessed, and appreciated?
We count on patience and resiliency
as we tread this earth
trusting the seasons of renewal
but it occurs to me
that the meek but statuesque grass
and the mottled but icy sky
in some ways know more than we do
and have the subtle upper hand.
We are at least equal in hierarchy
because even though they seem subject to me
I must capitulate to them
as foundational and essential
so I ponder which of us
is actually the steward
and which the servant?
And looking up, I shiver as I wonder
for whom am I the tiny cold blade of grass?
At whose mercy could I be laid low?