The lizard limps

down the middle of the dirt road.

I stop the car, climb out, herd him to the side.

He only perseveres back to the center,

with a three-legged limp,

right front leg held high.


Heart screams, no, poor baby!


He should be lifted on all fours

streaking like light

across the gramma grass.


Or doing pushups in the sun

with a confident grin.


He should be leaping from rooftops

and scaling vertical walls.


I scoop him up,

his little toes tickling my palm,

settle him near a juniper.

Maybe he will be fine.


Likely he will be eaten—

by a coyote or red-tail hawk.


At home, tears roll down my cheeks,

the image playing in my mind,

the injured leg held high

and a look on his reptile face:

desolate confusion.


The cruelty of the world

sometimes breaks my heart.


Where is the higher view?


Then the Beloved delivers it in a rush of love:


These lives are but a fly

on the tip of a lizard’s tongue,

swallowed at sunrise.


They pass, one upon the other—

thousands of cranes settling

on the water at dusk.


Each a whole university of lessons,

a vast library of wisdom.


The limping lizard will be pushed

to birth a new self-concept,

maybe a subtler one,

maybe one day discovering

the speed and agility of his own soul.


The tears dry into fine salt

at the edges of my eyes.

When I rinse them away,

they swirl down the drain,

through the pipes

and into the great ocean

that they are.

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