Hineni

What I want
is to say Hineni:
the thrce-in-one Hebrew word
(our verbal trinity!)
meaning “Here I am” or
“I am here,”
even “I-here-am.”
The patriarchs’ answer to God’s question:
“Where are you?”
God must know where we are
so the question means
“Are you listening?
Are you present
attending
now and here?”

Endless ways of not being here
of being in the past
or the future
or so self—
divided as to be no place
no I.
Then there is no present.
Then the present is empty—or full
only of anxiety or boredom.

Arriving in Vermont
I saw a sign:
“Moose crossing”
and wasted days
looking for that awkward-adolescent creature.
Then one evening on the screens
huge pale green moths—lunas!
and smaller violet and lemon ones—
art deco dreams—
No burning bush
but their translucent wings and
cotton candy bodies whispered,
“Look at, not for.”
Hineni.

Bonnie Lyons, professor of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio, has published poems in New Letters, Confrontations, Bridges, Midstream, and other journals.

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