A Singular Sloth


Details, I tell my students, bring the poem to life. Recently I saw how details bring life to me.

On my recent trip to Costa Rica, I met Millie, an orphaned sloth. Since she was not raised by her mother, Millie can’t return to the jungle, and thus lives a quiet life swinging from a wicker chair suspended in her well-appointed cage at the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. Along with Millie I met a number of other sloths who had been forced from the safety of the jungle canopy by the interruption of roads and cities. I reached out and touched Millie’s straw-soft fur, bent down to smell her camouflage-subtle scent, looked into her glossy, glassy eyes and smiled as she turned her shiny brown nose ceiling-ward.

Like you, I’ve heard countless calls to save the rainforest. But it was in the moment that my fingers touched this singular sloth that the commitment was sealed.

The details brought the rainforest into my heart – alive and new.