Sunday, April 15, 2007
Ah, well . . . .
I'd been invited to attend The 2007 Robert Frost Poetry Festival that ended this weekend at the Heritage House in Key West, Florida. My poem, 'Pruning', won third place in last year's contest. I chose not to go because of the mending still ongoing here at home. Truth to tell - a not small part of me was relieved. Reading my poem in public would have been very difficult. I've been told that it will make my poem less publishable to put it on the internet. But with health concerns on both my husband's and my part this past year, I've not even had time or the interest to submit it anywhere. So, mindful of the brevity and beauty of life - of the things that truly matter - I lay my poem at your doors and hope you will lift it gently up and recognize a heart not so unlike your own - struggling to find its way. I regret that it is a poem about regret. But, it is also about courage and making difficult choices. I hope, then, it may also be perceived as a poem about forbearance, forgiveness and moving forward, though not without pain. Someday, I hope, to balance it with a poem that soars.
Someday . . .
Pruning is such a delicate matter
as we choose what must relinquish the right
to remain aloft and cling to the ladder
of the arbor where the squabbling jays natter
about their perches for the night.
It’s the space you cleave between the branch
and the trellised bark -you know will bleed.
You see your questioning knuckles blanch
with the hope you’ve measured beyond mere chance
as required by the gardener’s creed
in the dog-eared books which try to say
about the choices a man must make
as to what must go and what may stay,
to love the light for another day.
The pruner knows his hands’ mistake
will leave the roots beneath his job
making their peace with the fool in the air,
judging his work while his temples throb,
as he stifles regret with a tight-throated sob,
about the error for the things in his care.
Catherine S. Wilson