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
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
FAMILY REUNION: NEWBURY, VERMONT
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 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.