Mary Bilderback is a member of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. She has taught biology at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey, for more than 25 years with the help of many poems. She continues to wonder how life can ever possibly hope to explain itself. She writes to pay attention.

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I would never help a worm cross the road

Poet Theodore Roethke calls worms the "intrepid scholars of the soil." For hundreds of millions of years they've sculpted Earth's hostile rock into forest floors and garden beds — laid out welcome mats with menus for strangers who would never breathe, or eat, or see, or think without them. 

It's all there for birds of Home Depot

Amid habitat loss and diminishing biodiversity, I'm watching a new species evolve in a curious new habitat: the birds of Home Depot. Why does my heart ache when I hear them calling from the plastic shelves of paradise?  

The fall of Icarus: longing to be free

We wanted to visit the children in detention at the border. We wanted to know what a day in their upset lives looked like; who was caring for them; whether they could play and pray and sing.