With the Tenderness of the Rain Forest I read the world in a glance. All the back-alleys, all the lost continents and secret haunts. Treasure trove of the Caribbean, buried by pirates distant and forgotten. Blackbeard’s ghost, Mary Poppins in the campground of yesteryear, Main Street USA, and I think of my future and God. Seven years old and my road-trip summer overflows with melting crayons. I feel the wax between my fingers and write love letters to tomorrow. The Carousel of Tomorrow spun and there was a great big beautiful tomorrow when I looked at the AAA roadmaps. And there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow when I see the atlas in the eyes of God, the contours of the farthest reaches, the four corners of the globe. Strong Sahara shoulders upon which rest the weight of our weary word. The paths of Alexander From beautiful Asia Minor to the twelve altars on the Hyphasis the deep lines on His cheeks. From mighty Mount Whitney down the long grey beard. The sailing stones of Death Valley: each vertebra. The joy of His laugh, the joy of continents: West Africa and Western Australia. His piercing stare, like the sheer slopes of the Matterhorn. An atlas in every breath. Amazon heart pumping love and grace from backwater swamp and the headwaters of ancient Machu Picchu. A watershed to the lifeblood of oceans. “Cast down your bucket,” the captain called in the mouth of the mighty river. “Cast down your bucket where you are,” he repeated. So wide they couldn’t see the shore. So wide God’s Amazonian tenderness. So wide the carousel of this very moment.
Andre F. Peltier is a Lecturer III at Eastern Michigan University where teaches literature and freshman composition. He lives in Ypsilanti, MI, with his family. His poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming in numerous journals In his free time, he obsesses about soccer and comic books.