All the little worlds

Flying across the country
in our little enclosed world
of seat backs and tray tables
I see all these little worlds down there,
the little farms, the towns,
the tiny vast sprawling cities,
and each is a world,
and each is a world of worlds.
In one there is joy, another labor,
someone searching here and resting there,
joking or weeping or dying or rearranging a drawer.

My family gathers, all ten of us,
a world of worlds, the ones we carry around with us,
meeting and overlapping and flowing into
and out of one another.

Sleeping, I am a world of worlds,
my past, my hopes, all there,
my brain dreaming a world,
the mites on my face in their world,
the microbes in my gut in theirs,
my knees whose world is not like my forehead’s,
all in the one world of me.

When you meet someone
there is no travel guide
to all the worlds they come from,
all the worlds they see,
all the worlds they are.
Only the reminder that
we are always learning a new place,
and that there is only one world,
all of us part of it,
little cells in a great living being.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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