Found

20150718-144140-52900033.jpg

Found

We lost the trail in the darkness,
made so much worse by the fog,
so switched children.

You took the little one, cocooned
from stick and branch,
passing the older from shoulders that broached,
as you tried to lead the way,
encroaching trees.  It seemed

forever.  Bracken up
to the knees, crashes half-caught,
I whispered to the child postured sureties,
all the while thinking screw
the contact lenses, maybe we should
just sleep in one of the small ravines where we slid
without meaning, leaning
into wet leaves,

until a long downward stumble
yielded to a field we knew, a field
found new,
and the child I could have carried forever
grew instantly so heavy
I could hardly move,
there, where the uncanopied moon silvered
rain-slivered stalks
and the road shone like a striped ribbon
wrapping a gift
called soon.

I think of this now–the flashlight’s gaze
dazed only mist in the darkness–
when I try to think about
grace–

I think of how humans stretch what they are
to shelter another,
as if they were tents made of
some miracle fiber, as if their strength
were truly tensile-

But what was graceful that night was not the way I carried the child
until carrying could be put down–
because there are plenty of parents, surely crowned
with grace, who have not been able,
to carry children
through their nights and fogs–

but that I so wanted to carry her,
grace more the gift of caring than carrying–
the gift of somehow lifting up
one’s self,
what makes us try, impossibly, to be as true
as the blue about the late moon, mornings,
and, nights, to hug another as closely
as haloed glow encircles
that reflective rock.

I can feel still
the pressure of small arms, legs,
making conscious my own contours,
as we both
held on.
*****************************

A draft poem for my own prompt on Real Toads to write something sparked by the idea of grace.  Honestly, I wanted to write something much shorter than this, but this is what came to mind.  Check out all the wonderful poets at Toads and congratulations to Kerry O’Connor, the founder of the blog and Toads Community, on its 4th anniversary.  Congratulations to dVerse Poets Pub on its blog anniversary. 

The pic above is mine. As with the poem, all rights reserved. 

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26 Comments on “Found”


  1. Wait a sec while I try to get my breath back. I went on that walk with you, you see. This was touched by magic from beginning to end. This might be one of my favourite poems of yours. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.


  2. “I think of how humans stretch what they are
    to shelter another,”

    Those lines touched me deeply; perhaps because they mirror what I felt when you prompted us to think of “grace”. I’m not sure I truly thought about the details of grace before, how it can hardly be felt if it’s not that we are sharing it with another, or experiencing it with another… So much care in your poem… a living whisper of grace.

  3. X Says:

    This smoothed out for me when you got to where humans try to stretch out like tents – there is truth in that – as if our strength was enough to save them. Oh and how we stretch until so taut at times. Ha, perhaps that is what causes us to snap – the final realization that try as we might, we can not.

  4. Isadora Gruye Says:

    I very much enjoyed the meditation of grace wrapped around the narrative of a person-er, presumably two or more, trekking through the woods. I like that we join the narrator’s story midflight. Events clearly have been put into motion to send her/him into the woods during the night, and their journey will continue to an end after the poem closes. It’s that you chose to focus in the moment, during the journey itself that moves me.

    I do have one suggestion, which may choose to trash or treasure, but the line break here-

    “I whispered to the child postured
    sureties”

    felt a bit awkward. Me thinks because postured is a verb, so I read it initial that the child was posturing and got very confused. Might it make more sense this way?

    I whispered to the child postured sureties

    Either way, this piece is graceful and thoughtful, and as always written with your fine sensibility for storytelling with a purpose.

    Well done and viva la!

  5. hedgewitch Says:

    A strong narrative poem that is yet very far from prose, with its sparkling word usage and associations(broach/encroach, silvered/slivered, etc)–it can obviously be read for sound alone, as that is what i did at first, but even just a cursory reading lets a lot of emotion in, finely wrought emotion, that is to say, feelings articulated intuitively and with great command. I really felt transported directly into the situation, and felt the coming and passing of that exhaustion, of loving that hard, caring that much, the need so fiercely to protect, over self of any kind that self becomes merely a tool. Not a story, but a poem that tells one–and fine, fine writing.

  6. Sanaa Rizvi Says:

    I think of this now–the flashlight’s gaze
    dazed only mist in the darkness–
    when I try to think about
    grace–

    Such beautiful lines 🙂

  7. Sherry Marr Says:

    This is very beautiful, such a tender memory….Beautifully told, Karin.

  8. Kay Davies Says:

    Fabulous write. We can do for children what we cannot do for ourselves. Our bodies recognize the need, and give us strength.
    K

  9. Brendan Says:

    Yes yes, this is really quite wonderful Karin, first a fine balance of narrative and didactic, thinking as one walks, arriving at a truth as one walks. Obama’s speech and his theme was in essence going inside the inside meaning of grace, which meant not just the obvious (being lost then found, as here), or meditating on the agency of grace (God or good accident) but into that which makes grace possible, the naked surrender between parent and child, as if goodness was a priori to goodly acts, so that grace is the assurance that all is and will be well. All I can say is amen.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thank you, Brendan, for your kind and thoughtful comment. It is all an interesting question. I listened to Obama’s speech in toto three times. Thanks for your powerful poem. K.

      >

  10. Grace Says:

    Love these reflections specially these lines:

    grace more the gift of caring than carrying–
    the gift of somehow lifting up
    one’s self,
    what makes us try, impossibly, to be as true

    Thanks for the lovely prompt K ~

  11. Susan Says:

    I have known the grace of which you speak from teaching children, but never from carrying one of my own. I agree that the grace God gave me was the wanting to–and I did it too, did it well, tirelessly in each moment until I saw “the road shone like a striped ribbon
    wrapping a gift
    called soon.”
    Every image in your poem, flashlight and fog, speaks to me. Thank you.

  12. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    there, where the uncanopied moon silvered
    rain-slivered stalks
    and the road shone like a striped ribbon
    wrapping a gift
    called soon…

    What an amazing moment of grace you have captured here. Such detailed and beautiful descriptions throughout.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much, Kerry. I realize I meant uncanopied as it was out of the tree canopy, but maybe “unroofed” would have a nice sound! Ha.

      Hope you had a safe drive. k.

      On Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 12:19 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:

      >

  13. lynn__ Says:

    Lovely and fierce…your words shimmer! I especially like:

    “I think of how humans stretch what they are
    to shelter another,
    as if they were tents made of
    some miracle fiber, as if their strength
    were truly tensile-”

    You call it a draft…it’s a very strong one! Perhaps just a bit of editing/shortening will make it a masterpiece 🙂

  14. M Says:

    this:

    grace more the gift of caring than carrying

    indeed ~


  15. I echo M: “but that I so wanted to carry her,
    grace more the gift of caring than carrying–
    the gift of somehow lifting up
    one’s self” wow


  16. This:

    “I could hardly move,
    there, where the uncanopied moon silvered
    rain-slivered stalks
    and the road shone like a striped ribbon
    wrapping a gift
    called soon.”

    and this:

    “how humans stretch what they are
    to shelter another,
    as if they were tents made of
    some miracle fiber, as if their strength
    were truly tensile-”

    Stood out for me…a wonderful write all together, K.

    Thank you, for the challenge!

  17. ellaedge Says:

    I think this is my new favorite~ I am smitten with these lines:

    “there, where the uncanopied moon silvered
    rain-slivered stalks
    and the road shone like a striped ribbon
    wrapping a gift
    called soon…”

    Gorgeous~

  18. othermary Says:

    Yes, I like the distinction you make about grace calling us to the impossible. I also just love the lines:

    there, where the uncanopied moon silvered
    rain-slivered stalks
    and the road shone like a striped ribbon
    wrapping a gift
    called soon.


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