Treat it like a gift from some unique
and distant planet: Never question
how it works, was born or grows.
Admire all its strange, magnificent
quick turnings. Like a beast
in its own jungle, it must run.
Hail and lightning hurt
only when you fight against them.
Never try to thwart the force they hurl.
Say to yourself: I am
a house exposed to a wild fire;
What must I protect and what let go?
Sometimes it’s best to think of sandy beaches.
What each grain washed by the tides endures.
And how, when daybreak softens surf
to opaque yellow, broken shells
will glimmer like real jewels.
Robert Joe Stout writes, reads and goes to baseball games in Oaxaca, Mexico and shares sofa and computer space with his Siamese cat. His fiction has appeared in And/Or, Sin Fronteras, Southern Humanities Review and his poetry has received Pushcart Prize nominations. He earned a B.A. in journalism from Mexico City College, has served on human rights delegations and remembers the year he lived in San Francisco. See http://www.robertjoestout.weebly.com.