“For weeks, the heavy white ceramic bowl
he left out back lay tilted to one side.
But then one morning it had been put right.
Was it the possum, called down late at night
By hunger from some bony treetop? No.
The possum only ever tipped it over.
But when a small bird perched to drink from it,
He laughed, remembering all night long the rain
Dashing across the gutters and the roof.
The bowl was full. The rain had righted it.”
We guess so much and know so little. We’re surrounded by mundane mysteries, not to mention grand ones. Inductive reasoning is useful but not infallible. That the subject of Mehigan’s poem laughed at his conclusion is promising. He knows he doesn’t know everything.