Preserve-inspired poem: “not even January”
after the melting of a foot of snow
with inches of rain,
the walk I took was soggy.
but the sun on the grass
in that oasis from man was bright,
grasses bright, making scratchy-line halos
around the path of sunlight. Van Gogh
I see what you saw. I step
from hummock to hummock,
the battered green resilient,
buoyant, forgiving. And so am I then,
lifting my arms to the sky,
a small gesture in the wide stillness.
I wait a minute for transformation,
feel my old stiff muscles trying to open
past pain toward spring.
I want redemption, but all I get
is a bit of a thaw.
the language I hear best is still man’s,
the hum of plane and car and machine
penetrating even that expanse,
softened by the gentility of old farms,
the gypsy wings of a heron,
the watchfulness of deer in the dappled shadow,
the superior stare of a red-tailed hawk
on a fence post. I soak up sun
in lieu of salvation. puddles evaporate
into thin blue air. walking,
finding butternut shells littering the skirts
of a lone tree, a bench where a single leather glove
awaits a hand, the moon a white shell
poised for sunset. I breathe in this open air
and breathe it again.
Natural Lands Trust (and White Oak Society) member Jenny French penned this poem in December of 2009 after a hike at our Gwynedd Wildlife Preserve.