Thursday, February 18, 2010

Walking in Circles: All Alone?

Today I thought I'd share some verses I wrote last Fall after an early morning walk by myself. I apologize to those who already read this on my home blog many months ago, but maybe I won't apologize too much. I just re-read it and even though I'm no poet, it's not so bad. While I read, it was almost as if I had only gone on that walk this morning...the memory was very clear! The photo at the end was taken in January as I walked through our local cemetary while the sun was just rising. Glorious!

Morning Walk

Woke up early, just like always,
While still very dark.
It's time for a morning walk
but my companion is away.
Should I go alone?

I will.
50 degrees, no jacket needed;
The sun has not even begun to rise.
Leaves crackle under my feet,
Lampposts glow in the fog.

Don't be a slacker, walk briskly!
While the neighbors move slowly;
Single lights wink on in the houses.
I imagine parents stumbling about
waking their children for school.

A solitary man wearing a small backpack
shuffles in the darkness on the street opposite me.
He seems to have no purpose.
We look toward one another.
Should I be afraid?
My instincts say no.

Up and down, through the neighborhood;
To the dead end, touch the fence,
round the culdesac, down the stairs.
Shadowy Halloween decorations litter the lawns.
More lights coming on now, and I can hear
scattered conversations through the windows.
A few cars drive by adding life to the scene.

Ah, the graveyard is ahead
But it's still dark. Do I dare?
Of course!
It's the best part of the walk.
There is always a feeling of peace here
that isn't in the streets.

The sun is coming up now,
and the heavy, damp air becomes a little less gloomy.
Deer slumber nearby and rise as I approach;
I talk to them, but they move away.
They don't know how good it would feel
If I scratched them behind the ears.

Near the cemetery gates
bright orange zinnias still bloom
uneaten by the deer all summer.
I pluck a few dried flower heads as I leave,
To plant their seeds next Spring.

Around the corner and I'm home.
This new day came to life while I walked;
How rare to witness it alone!
But was I really? I conversed continually, quietly,
with myself, with the headstones, the deer,
And with my Father.
I'm glad He wasn't away this morning.


Kathy Haynie said...

You use good, strong verbs in your poem, Dorothy! Leaves crackle, lampposts glow, lights wink on, parents stumble about, the man shuffles...your poem is as brisk as your walk! And I LOVE the part about scratching the deer behind the ears. Silly deer.

As you start your walk this morning, I'll be scrambling to pull my lesson plans together after being at training all day yesterday...I wonder how things went with the sub?...but I'll be thinking of you, out in the morning!

Katie said...

I love the poem, Dorothy. And the picture.

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