They All Know

The wind doesn’t say “Here I come!”
as it rustles through the forest, bending
branches and lifting leaves, nor do the trees
bother to debate, “Is it fate, or free will?”
 
The little house finch with the grey body
and stunning red head doesn’t know what
it looks like, nor does it care to cultivate
a suave self-image in search of validation.
 
It keeps an eye out for the soaring hawks.
No one has to warn the forest animals,
“Stay alert!” Here, paying attention
comes naturally.
 
We have the luxury of drifting in daydreams,
we imagine we are invulnerable, so unlike
the other living beings in the forest, death
usually comes as a surprise for us.
 
We don’t quite believe it, even when
we’re dead. “How can this be?”
 
We don’t realize we are already ghosts.
Maybe we will wander like the wind.
We might even say, “Here I come!”
 
Nobody will hear us. Maybe the trees
will be listening, and the finches.
 
They are alert, they all know
which way the wind blows.
 
If you could ask them,
they would tell you:
“It just blows.”

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