Animals Eat Sunlight
“Animals eat sunlight,” I tell my students.
They don’t believe me. I explain how light
is caught by the green nets of leaves
and eaten by cows that become fast food
hamburgers and how we eat leaves in salads—
bowls of sunlight adorned with ranch dressing
and croutons. “Sunlight is energy,” I say.
I don’t talk about the way the sun
has been worshipped for thousands of years
as a mighty golden god or the hope after winter.
I don’t tell them how my heart lifts
with each sunrise. How it astonishes me
that day is somehow here again.
I don’t speak of my fierce love for the star
first graders draw in the upper corners
of their pictures with yellow crayons,
that circle blessing the house with its chimney
and family, its row of red flowers
like smaller suns. At recess, I walk outside.
I do not look directly at the sun, deferential,
but I feel it touching my skin. I feel
like a tree, stretching my branches,
my green nets, my everything towards light.
—Kate Coombs, 2012
all rights reserved
For more poems and links, visit the Poetry Friday post at My Juicy Little Universe. Happy Solstice, Happy Holidays, Happy Season of Candlelight and Starlight!