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Friday, November 23, 2018


by Tricia Knoll

Weathered growth rings in a horizontal cross section cut through a tree felled around AD 1111 used for the western building complex at Aztec Ruins National Monument, San Juan County, New Mexico, USA. Source: . Photographer:  Michael Gäbler.

Soft or hard: like ice cream?
The you-can’t-imagine bull’s-eyes
on the chest of the emergency
room doctor, but someone did.
The deepest Mars crater yawns
wide open for a rocky landing.
Today’s news has turkeys
playing soccer, fenced orphanages
for orangutans. What if instead
of seeing targets and borders
in every mapped topography
we visualize growth rings,
slow but steady widening
of enduring trees as they bow
under winter’s weight
or resprout from the fire?
For seeds of wildflowers.
Gratitude for mandala graces.

Author's note: Written in response to Monday's shooting at Mercy Hospital in Chicago.

Tricia Knoll was born in a Chicago hospital. She has a daily gratitude practice, trying to find that day's hint of beauty in the midst of news of wanton shootings, vicious pronouncements from the administration—a hint of something soothing somewhere.