Cate Terwilliger recognizes God’s proxies…and more in this beautiful poem.

Meditatio Ephemera


Each day I leave my offering —
a roasted peanut unsalted unshelled —
at the threshold of the squirrel’s home
a gesture of goodwill and gratitude
for another day in which I might
recognize God’s proxies and

walk then to the running track
where this morning I found —
improbably — in my lane
a can of my favorite tuna
wild-caught dolphin-safe
chunk-light in water and

maybe it was theft but
I took it anyway sensing
instead another enactment of
the world’s mysterious alchemy
in which peanuts become
tuna grief and joy poems and

the ghost of every once-
solid thing dissipates to
materialize again as
something you would not
expect and better than you
could ever imagine

as when God’s
clever hands
assume fur
as when a thief
might be a poet

and you —
seeing —
can scarcely contain
your delight


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