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 Vs,
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 on 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