Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
”Mary Oliver

Even on hot days the tall grass
keeps water in the veins and folds
of its body. Running, my legs are splashed
then sticky with spiders’ webs
and the foamy nests of insects
who want the grassy water so much
they will build their homes among it.

Like the insects, I draw water
from the grass whose body is built to collect it.
For only water’s flow through me
makes my running possible.
In return I name grass and spider;
I measure them into creation.

Some compare the prairie
to a heaven of yearning
beyond the covering sky”
I let visitors pass unnamed

for I will run here with my own.
Our dwelling awaits you, our names call out to you.
We think of you walking your planted field
and eating the fruit of its grain.
We wait here for your return,
when you will fill the place like water,
being everywhere in what you made,
and we’ll see that Canaan is all creation,
that its names are ours and we’ve always been there,
only missing you.