Part of the risk and exhilaration-cum-embarrassment of writing daily and posting daily for the 30/30 Project is the sudden realization (after hours of drafting and editing) that two more tweaks would make a huge difference in your fledgling poem-child. Here’s today’s post, with alterations. If you’d like to support this nonprofit endeavor, please go to 30/30 Project, click on “Donate,” and be sure to mention “Kathleen McCoy” in the “Honor” field to credit your gift toward my fundraising goal. Happy trails. . . .
Rush Pond Trail / Kathleen McCoy
The other day my daughter showed me
I had to slow her down so we could talk,
allow the woods to shield us from obsessing
on the news. She flicked her flopping ponytail
behind her, smiled—she’d meet me later
at the house—plugged in her music, jogging on,
knowing the trail but not which branch to choose.
My music came from red-eyed vireo and thrush.
Felled white birch bits rested in a bed
of ferns in a room with green couches
of mossed maple; then I saw the forties roadster
careened into a trunk and left to rust,
right door missing, now nest for raccoons,
rabbits, squirrels. Eventually I reached the bridged
marsh, largely green and blooming with water lilies
and the unabashed purples of swamp milkweed.
What pilgrims trekked these woods
before the path was cleared? Acclimated
woodsmen, sticky wood-wise children, herb-
smart women, broad aprons for sacks?
Today my girl is purple wildflower, floating lily,
hers the chatter of invisible vireo, ethereal
song of wood thrush reverberating in the pines;
I, the rusty car, part of my right side missing,
open to air and moss and the steady passing-by of life
in all its forms. Tomorrow I will be the bed of ferns,
the green couch greeting her upon return
from her shadow-laced trail of song and surprise.