To You Who Have Examined Tile Floors
This poem is written for you, who,
as a child, enjoyed looking at the hexagonal tile floor
in the bathroom of your grandmother's brick bungalow
in Berwyn, Illinois, or any house of a certain vintage
in any city or town anywhere in the world.
There you are, perched on the rim, little bare legs
dangling down, tottering on the potty.
You steady yourself by meditating on the tiles
and the flower patterns that the hexagonals make:
each black center ringed by six whites.
Flower next to flower next to flower,
excruciatingly and deliciously impossible
to see one flower without seeing
its connection to all the others. The flowers
interlocking across the whole expanse of floor
from toilet to tub and over to the door
each flower becoming its mother or brother,
more, then more. No flower in that field
left to fend alone.