Posted tagged ‘lost trail poem’


July 18, 2015



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

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.