Just Because by Richard Rauch


Just because we love
to whistle and dance,
because laughter makes us
look, because seeds push
pines to grow tall enough
to waver in breezes we can’t feel,
but real enough to cause their cones to fall,
spreading generations, because
we notice bright and shiny things
and name them, like apples buffed on sleeves,
anticipating sweetness, falling from trees
like ideas leading to theories
aggregating like gravity
collecting things, collecting dust
clumping into planets, some sparkling
with rings and moons and things,
leading to atmospheres and oceans
and tides, igniting suns and stars,
shiny things—spectral from gold to silver
to sapphire—warming clouds swollen
ripe with rain collecting in puddles
just right for splashing, reflecting
faces, bright and smiling back, perfect
before the sky, perfect for sprouting seeds,
spreading roots and stems and branches, flowers
leading to gardens, which brings us back to seeds
and apples and birds pulling worms and singing—
jays, chickadees, starlings, swifts—inspirations
defined by feathers and flight, soaring
to dreams, thoughts, airplanes scraping the sky,
like towers to deities seeking light,
finding fire, that desire to fly, to fall,
floating weightless in freefall, body
at rest, body in motion, body
within body, mesmerized by
a mother’s pulse, her cooing words, warming
that emerging apple of her eye—
the wonder in a heartbeat, the rhythm
in a walk, man on the moon, shiny things—
cadences, instincts, music, life, death,
and because even bad dancers, glowing
pink and whistling away, can’t help but have fun.

Richard Rauch was born and raised in the New Orleans area. A physicist by training (via LSU and Stony Brook University), he currently manages a tenacious team of NASA engineers and scientists. Recent poetry credits include work in Burningword, Confrontation, Crack the Spine, decomP, Euphony, Jet Fuel, Grey Sparrow, The MacGuffin, Pembroke Magazine, Wild Violet and the anthologies Love Notes (Vagabondage Press) and Down to the Dark River: Contemporary Poems about the Mississippi River (Louisiana Literature Press).