#Publication: “Family Reunion”

A Celebration of Poetry Deferred

In January of 2020, my poem “Family Reunion: Newbury, Vermont” was accepted for publication by the Waterford Township Public Library’s annual 2020 Poetry Leaves exhibit. (The Township is located in Michigan.)  I was particularly pleased that my poem had been selected because it was inspired by a return to the trees I’d taken for granted in the Newbury woods–after being away for thirty years. You can learn more information about the event here: https://waterfordmi.gov/888/Poetry-Leaves.

Needless to say, the in-person celebration of poetry exhibit was cancelled because of the pandemic.

Sadly, 2021 marks the end of this vibrant community project. I do hope the library is able to rally the community to celebrate National Poetry Month in a sustainable way for the future, particularly given that school children have been involved.

Poetry Leaves: April 1 – April 30, 2021

Click to be taken to the Poetry Leaves Exhibit.

The poems are in alphabetical order by author’s last name. You will need to scroll and click a few times to see mine.

Update November 8, 2021: The Poetry Leaves Exhibit website has been taken down.

The Final Version


The mountains soar higher
Than when we were children

The sky closer now
The air water now

Drink from a spring
Prone on bright moss
Face lowered to meet water
Clear and clean and cold

Carelessly we ran
Through the woods
In bare feet and baggy britches

The Drafts

The occasion for the poem was a family reunion in 2000 in honor of the seventieth birthday of my mother and her twin sister. I was living in Virginia at the time, and I hadn’t been back to my aunt’s cabin in Newbury, Vermont since the 1970s. I wrote the first draft immediately upon our return from the trip. The difference between the early draft and the final poem reflects the direction my poetry has taken in the past several years.

The Early Draft

The Midway Draft

The Fiddly Draft

192 thoughts on “#Publication: “Family Reunion”

  1. Congratulations, Liz! I love the poem, strongly evocative of time past and present, capturing the wonder of nature, the changes within it. It was fascinating to see the various stages of the drafts, how they became tighter, shorter and how a line from the first stanza became the final sentence in the poem. It works brilliantly! The presentation of the poems is beautiful and match the project perfectly. It is a pity that this won’t be running in the future as obviously very popular and reached so many people. Fingers crossed something else comes to replace it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations! Liz. Terrific that your “Family Reunion poem was accepted for publication by the Waterford Township Public Library’s annual 2020 Poetry Leaves. A great feeling and reassuring I’m sure!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, that was fascinating, Liz, to see the poem’s evolution. I liked the longer version, too, to be honest, but can see how it distilled down to that core glimpse of childhood. How wonderful. And congrats on being included in the anthology. You have such lovely talent. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Off the grid the past while and I look forward to reading and catching up, Liz. Unfortunately, another celebration cancelled. It is interesting how early drafts can look very different than recent creative pursuits.

    A beautiful poem, Liz that evokes many childhood memories. Literally goosebumps on my arms. You ‘get it’ and share it well.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to see you back, Erica! (I had been checking recently to see if I’d missed any posts from you, given the WordPress gremlins of late.) I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post and that it evoked your own childhood memories.

      Liked by 1 person

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