UMBILICAL


My child insists that everything
has a belly button and finds them easily
on his dolls, his own round stomach,
and ours. We search for the navels
of animals under their fur
and begin to see that many things
have centers or indentations
the size of a fingertip.
Even rocks have notches, openings.

It is not difficult in the orchard.
Every fruit bears a mark
showing how it has been
umbilical to the tree, and every
tree bears at least one wound,
one pair of nubs where a branch
once clung. I can even see the tree,
where it presses itself to the ground,
umbilical to the earth,
and the leaves stretching out
umbilical to the sun.

I keep working in this way,
seeing the sun umbilical
in the sky, the sky and earth
umbilical to each other—
seeing how everything shows us
where it has come through
and what it has left behind.