a flower grows

a flower grows
(Rock Island State Park)

in the middle of Tennessee,
there is a chasm
a dam people made once in the rock
they did not know how much water it would hold

in the middle of this chasm,
there is an island
it is there that we hiked, the other day
the island, in the chasm, by the waterfalls
it is made of different-shaped stones, some slick
the water hits our faces
the leaves brush our legs
the currents reach our ears

& underneath the rocks,
a flower grows

we brought him here
our friend who planned to move away
he saw the water first
I wanted the land to prove itself to him,
like it did to me.

I don’t know if it worked.
I do know this:

the three of us, on those rocks,
we were alive and lost in loveliness
and underneath the stones
flowers grew

there is no trick to loving or hating the earth
this I have learned from both pavement & butterflies
I cannot show you the flowers under the rocks
I can only tell you, look
there are things that I have found before
and I have followed their long thread
to the end.

& underneath the rocks,
a flower grows.

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