after the painting ‘Clockwork Cockerel’ by Desmond Shortt

It was the Old Testament that spoiled us. The springing
of water from stone. The appearance of flaming plants.
A parting of waves. We learned to expect miracles.
Now, we grow discontent with everyday wonders;
the flight of birds, salmon spawning upriver,
a bright moon in the day sky.

These things we take for granted. Breasts too.
Their shape and purpose.
The natural colour of hair. Laughter lines. The way
wrinkles age us, like the rings in trees.
These marvels are not enough. More is asked for. I acquiesce,
wander the desert, cut and tucked, striking rocks with a plastic staff.