Teach Your Children Well

Make sure they find mica in the ground—

pinch the rock skin peeled and browned,

the waxy, starry silicate

layered like staircases in granite.


Make certain they sample honeysuckle

that grips a country fence, and they suck all

the nectar from the hair-thin stopper

pulled from inside, a party popper.


Make sure they dig their hands in the beach

for sand or “mole” crabs’ telltale V’s,

a universe in muddy waves.

Watch them return to shallow caves.


Show them that maple and Tipuana

trees have helicopter seeds. Take on a

test drive, tossed up high to twirl

in giddy circles, like a girl.


And bring a young bird into their lives—

explore its wings, its one open eye

that sees beyond us, after it smashed

with passion into the patio glass.


Teach them the earth, and without fear.

Teach them well, while you’re still here.



Title after the song by the same name

by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, 1970








Leave a Reply