Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Sun Underfoot Among the Sundews by Amy Clampitt


The Sun Underfoot  Among the Sundews

An ingenuity too astonishing 
to be quite fortuitous is 
this bog full of sundews, sphagnum- 
lined and shaped like a teacup. 
                                                        A step 
down and you’re into it; a 
wilderness swallows you up: 
ankle-, then knee-, then midriff- 
to-shoulder-deep in wetfooted 
understory, an overhead 
spruce-tamarack horizon hinting 
you’ll never get out of here. 
                                            But the sun 
among the sundews, down there, 
is so bright, an underfoot 
webwork of carnivorous rubies, 
a star-swarm thick as the gnats 
they’re set to catch, delectable 
double-faced cockleburs, each 
hair-tip a sticky mirror 
afire with sunlight, a million 
of them and again a million, 
each mirror a trap set to 
unhand unbelieving, 
                                      that either 
a First Cause said once, “Let there 
be sundews,” and there were, or they’ve 
made their way here unaided 
other than by that backhand, round- 
about refusal to assume responsibility 
known as Natural Selection. 
                                                    But the sun 
underfoot is so dazzling 
down there among the sundews, 
there is so much light 
in the cup that, looking, 
you start to fall upward.

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