The definition, if not the very essence, of humility
Is embodied in the act of being eclipsed by the workaday turtle,
Who has become the poster child for slow and steady
Despite its wanton dalliance with cars and highways,
Its immodest and perilous penchant for sunbathing.
Let the great showy swordfish jump skyward
Like some starry-eyed cheerleader,
Permit the rainbow trout its moment at the surface,
Every bit as purple as Agamemnon’s carpet,
For he has seen the concluding movement of that dance:
The mounting plaque of teak or cherry,
The garnishes of turnip and herbs.
He is content to nip his share of algae and oxygen
At the bottom of the Cuyahoga or Mekong,
Tribute to the majesty of endurance,
The splendor of simply carrying on.