Cataloguing The Source

Written for the Bates College 2008 Baccalureate Service |

Somewhere a house
has built itself.
Elsewhere, potatoes
come already-stuffed.
Water, in its cycles,
seems to have always
been. Fish are inclined,
unpracticed, to swim.
People do not arrive like that.

We have our bodies
of course, and ids—
but let’s not split
hairs. The rest
depends upon the
weather. The stars
in a circle, line or
polygon. These might
be who we are. A mind.
A mouth. A proper
noun. A shared proper
noun, following. A
sage’s forecast. Snouts
of kindly dogs that sit
fastened outside a market.
The grocer’s, too, has
influence: its small
world bending into each
of ours. Are we changed
by two-for-a-dollar
canned pineapples
and Heineken? Perhaps
we’re moved to be
because of words we
prize and homes we
keep, the kindnesses we
choose to accept:
a friend’s, a mother’s.

Whose idea was it
to bulb all these things?
Who believed in the
fat seed, and buried it?
Who suspected all this
could have budded?