It was a torn garbage bag on the parking lot;
Not noticed nor respected in the trash.
It came to my attention today
As it soared aloft with a puff of wind.
I stood there and watched as it lifted high,
With grace and beauty all its own.
That bit of plastic refuse that has lost its use
Became a lovely presence in the wind.
My eye followed it as it descended and
Skipped across the pavement in different form.
Then it rose again and for a moment of delight
Became a soaring, changing, lifted spirit.
Once again it fell, no longer to rise.
It became trash again despite the wind.
No more a spirit on the wing
This bit of plastic ceased to be.
Not like man who rises above the mire;
Not like one whose spirit is ever changed;
Not like one once lifted from the depths,
And soars forever in a new frame.
James A. Pharis, Jr.
November 30, 1999, Tuesday 11:00 p. m.