Bio Note: When I was a child, I used to spend my summers at Nature Training School near Worcester, MA and then at my grandmother's house in the middle of Fitchburg, MA, a small city but a city nonetheless. Then, in college, I spent too much time wandering around the city and the last bits of suburban nature. Now, in quarantine, I spend time trying to scrutinize my local park and reading funny stories from the Worcester paper to my father. Read all about these things in my book, Poetry en Plein Air, available from Pony One Dog Press and Amazon.
Today the only birds are crows, inkblots on neatly drawn branches, a Southern winter’s fine design. Crows’ baritone croaks strike the air, more percussion than spring birdsong. Somehow the sun seemed warm enough to allow us to slip off hats and gloves, forego jacket and coat on our walk past the now-closed school. Playground crows dip into the last of someone’s ghost pepper Rap Snacks and bone-dry bread in the dumpster. Crows caw delight, calling their mates. No boys or girls brave the birds’ yard. I think of my old school up north, air thick with floor wax, apple juice, school baked pizza. Chalk motes floated, sometimes danced in frozen sunlight. I imagine these two schools, both closed almost one year now, their scents slipping away, sounds of footsteps forgotten.
Originally published on Facebook
In Which the Stream Reappears
This spring, its sky the gray of cobwebs, we learn to walk in almost-rain. Today the stream once dwindled to damp dirt has returned to bustle through the swamp, burst over small banks, flood muddy flats, only stopping where a robin coolly extracts a worm. This spring, its scent hidden in cold rain and low clouds, in bright, cemetery flowers, the fear of touch, we learn to learn from what we can see again and again and again and again.
Originally published in Eos: The Creative Context.
©2021 Marianne Szlyk
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