Michael Beadle, Trace

Michael Beadle

If we are taught to parse time
into nanoseconds, spot blips of ships
on radar, mark the start of the cosmos
with quarks, then surely dominions
of minutiae deserve a monument
worthy of veneration. Bring forth
marble to carve their names—
Iota Trivia Miniscule.
For they are the microns and milligrams
that nudge us toward victory or catastrophe.
Let beggar and general pay tribute
to these smidgeoneers or suffer
the blinding flash of their alchemy.
Mere mites they are, borne on the whims
of the wind, until they take hold, congregate,
slip through a cell wall, dance too close
to an electron and va-whoosh!
A chain reaction, an avalanche.
One bit more, one speck less
turns crack to chasm, pox to pandemic,
star to smithereens.


Author’s Comment: While on my way to church one day, I thought of another mythological poem. What if there were gods devoted to the tiniest of deeds? Shouldn’t we salute these micro-forces that work in and around us? They should have names, and we should honor their work to keep us safe from calamity. Scaling down to the essence of life, perhaps we appreciate the infinitesimal miracles taking place around us.

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