Often, when our hired hand took a break from work,
he’d comb the land for agates, then return with a smirk,
pockets full of shiny stones he’d removed from the clay,
bragging to my father that this was his lucky day.
Down along the river, on sunny days they shone,
mixed in with the detritus of rocks and sand and bone.
You’d have thought that they were diamonds he’d removed from the earth,
but he didn’t judge their beauty simply by their worth.
He had learned to capture happiness anywhere he found it,
sorting out the beauty from what he found around it.
A simple man, for him it was not something he could buy.
He found beauty in a blade of grass or clouds up in the sky.
Lucky man, therefore he found beauty everywhere—
In his wife’s shy smile and his children’s flaxen hair,
wheat fields spread like blankets before the combine’s blade,
he gloried in all the riches that the earth had made.