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black perl ant on moss

Two Poems: Make Me Sheet Moss; Make Me Red-Tailed Hawk

Abigail Carroll


Make Me Sheet Moss

Make me sheet moss,
attender to shagbark, leaf-
song, lungwort, dew,
the muculent lives of snails,
wine of fungi, wood rot,
litterfall, duff. School me
to love mineral, lichen frond,
sphagnum, cort—subsist
on mist, on drip of sky, on
evening damp. Tutor me
to comfort stone, and I will
soothe the ground, yes I will
bless the clod, bandage stump,
limb, twig; companion
crag, mend ruptured seam
in trunk—in cedar, alder,
balsam, oak—and I will heal
the ancient wounds of ice-
scarred rock, salve the grief
of upturned earth, yes,
and I will learn to prize
the meek, the gradual,
the diminutive, the low,
oh Lord of root,
of mica,
of loam.


Make Me Red-Tailed Hawk

Make me red-tailed hawk,
prince of feather, wing, flight,
oh Lord of height, shape me
to glide the roof of the storm,
pilot the crease of the wind, oh
let me see for once the small-
ness of things, thinness of line
between suburb and field, salt-
marsh and bay, beauty and grief—
teach me to lift, ebb, sail above
the curse of gravity, of stone,
oh Lord of whirlwind, make me
hollow-boned, swift and light,
twin of eagle, twin of owl, twin
of sky, and I will skirr the breeze,
yes, I will dance the air, oh and
fields will go on blooming, bow-
ing, cities pushing, crowding,
plowing, but I will drift, and drift-
ing, sing—yes, I will rise above
the little things.


black perl ant on moss_listing
Contributed By

Abigail Carroll is a poet and author whose book, A Gathering of Larks: Letters to Saint Francis from a Modern-Day Pilgrim (Eerdmans 2017), has been called “witty, compassionate, and rich.” Her poems appear in the anthology Between Midnight and Dawn: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Lent, Holy Week, and Eastertide (Paraclete Press, 2016) as well as in numerous magazines and journals, including The Anglican Theological Review, The Christian Century, and Sojourners. She currently serves as pastor of arts and spiritual formation at Church at the Well in Burlington, Vermont.

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