Teach Me – Małgosia Halliop

It’s time to write about moss,
how it tells the health of the place
where it thrives, how it grows,
dries as if to imitate death,
then revives with water.
The smallest things are sometimes
hardest to kill, fooling us into
believing dormancy is a permanent
surrender. My hand on these soft green
curls of growth, stone transmuting
into mammal’s back,
tree to a vertical landscape
sprawling with forests—
I am learning your names.
I heed your attunement
to the forms that host you,
your state between occupation
and yielding. Teach me to be
as indestructible as you are,
and even half as tender.

Małgosia Halliop immigrated to Canada from Poland as a child, and has lived in Toronto for more than twenty-five years. In the past decade, she has been a writer, editor, community organizer, visual artist, wildlife tracker, and nature educator. She is currently working to hone her craft as a poet.

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