Green Hills Literary Lantern


The Possibility of Carbon Molecules

Think of how many more possibilities
carbon molecules have when they move
into a wolf or an eagle instead of a rock.

They can decide where to fly, what to hunt,
how to take advantage of life in a pack
when one finds oneself living out life in

the wilds of a small planet. Think of what
happens to atoms and electrons when they
find themselves spinning inside one of us.

Suddenly they can experience compassion,
attraction that has passions attached to it,
hunger, a desire to find out what’s over

the hill and beyond the valley below. Think
of what it takes for carbon molecules to
feel patriotic, to take the time to thank

the source of their new experience of things
they might never have dreamed of when
they were traveling as space dust or taking
on the shapes of river rocks and sandstone.

Fredrick Zydek is the author of eight collections of poetry. T’Kopechuck: the Buckley Poems is forthcoming from Winthrop Press later this year. Formerly a professor of creative writing and theology at the University of Nebraska and later at the College of Saint Mary, he is now a gentleman farmer when he isn’t writing. He is the editor for Lone Willow Press.