here first. until we are there.

Perhaps bessie, with those brown eyes.

Having commanded Adam to bestow
Names upon all the creatures, God withdrew
To empyrean palaces of blue
That warm and windless morning long ago,
And seemed to take no notice of the vexed
Look on the young man’s face as he took thought
Of all the miracles the Lord had wrought
Now to be labeled, dubbed, yclept, indexed.

Before an addled mind and puddle brow,
The feathered nation and the finny prey
Passed by; there went biped and quadruped.
Adam looked forth with bottomless dismay
Into the tragic eyes of his first cow,
And shyly ventured, “Thou shalt be called ‘Fred.'”

“Naming the Animals” by Anthony Hecht, from Collected Later Poems. © Alfred A Knopf, 2003.

perhaps to remind us that many things we believe have been set in stone were the product of guileless and tentative actions.

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