#417: A Poem About a Very Small Thing on April 12, 2022

What’s the smallest thing I know?
I know there are things called quarks,
but I don’t know them from atom.
Apparently (and I didn’t know this either),
nine years ago a photograph was taken
of an atom’s shadow. As photographs go,
it’s not very good, unless you’re into
that kind of thing. With the naked eye
I’ve seen a flea in the palm of my hand.
Similarly, I’ve seen a single grain of sand.
Cookie crumbs. Specks of dirt.
Things my son and I used to look at
under a microscope. Once, about 17
years ago, he was the smallest
thing I knew. That was about the time
my wife told me she was pregnant,
but at that time he was so small
I would not have been able to see him.
Don’t make this poem about something
it’s not–I’m just saying–I know my son
(although sometimes I wish I knew
him better), and at one time he
was microscopic, the smallest thing
I have ever known,
a very small thing,
and maybe, yes,
almost certainly,
the smallest thing
I have ever loved.


Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: