by Laura Gardner
when you realize you didn’t really want to be a Russian gymnast
or the lion trainer for Ringling Brothers, or a jockey,
though your sister did make costumes for the circus
and could have come up with something daring and sparkly
there’s no real hurry to see the tomb of Hafez, and
how great can the Great Barrier Reef be, really?
Because, well, Australia and all those other places,
they’re way too far. Besides—the plane ride…no,
as the workday wanes into the humid night you anticipate
the morning commute down Route 31, looking east,
where ordinary clouds form on the horizon like mountains.
above the tree line, they’re the Himalayan ice blue peaks,
the misty tips of New Zealand’s Southern Alps,
they’re the Andes of Peru, llamas and all,
and as your wheels roll over the pavement, hot coffee at your lips,
the planet turns ever so perfectly toward the sun, toward our dawning star,
and a neon ridge blazes over those mountains
like nothing you’ve ever seen before.