Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 2006 Who? Me?! (Four Years Later)

Here's what I posted four years ago this month:

I almost deleted the message on the answering machine as I didn't recognize the caller's name at the beginning of the call. Incredulity followed as someone from the Heritage House Museum in Key West, Florida informed me that my poem, "Pruning", was being awarded 3rd prize in the 2006 Robert Frost Poetry Contest. Please indulge my public exaltation. For this small-town kid, one of seven children and a lackluster student - this is a rather big day.

And so . .

. . here we are four years later and I'd like to report (but can't) that I've written more award winning poetry and the great American novel.

I'm afraid I'm quite content to rest on my laurels (given no choice ;0) .

So for the next several days I'll be preening contentedly - remembering that brief moment of exhilaration and trying not to remember my way-too-vainglorious response. Only human, folks. Flawed and human - the awareness of which - inspired this (ahem) award-winning poem:


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 watch 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,
over the error for the things in his care.

Catherine Wilson 2006



Anvilcloud said...

Belated congratulation or re-congrats if I have done this before. We have a new tree, er stick, out front because the former owner abused the former tree. He didn't prune exactly but severed roots that were partly above ground. Apparently the tree was never the same after that, and we had it removed two years ago.

threecollie said...

Wow, that is simply incredible! I am in awe...you are very talented. Belated congratulations on a well-deserved award.

Bernie said...

This deserves to be reposted, it is very good......:-) Hugs

Cathy said...

Hey AC - Thanks for the congrats :0)
Sorry about that tree. My husband has this worrisome trait of pruning whilst I'm away.

It is I who forgives him for the brutality:-D

Hmmmm . .. I wonder if he was the inspiration for this poem . .

Three Collie -

Thanks, honey. I've always wished I could have won for something a titch more up-beat.

Alas, apparently my talent lies in crepe-hanging :-D


Welcome! And thank you so much for taking the time to stop and leave a kind word.

Hugs to you too!

Laurie said...

Beautiful, Cathy, just like its writer.

Cathy said...

Laurie. Sweetie!

Thank you so much.

I'm slowly finding my way onto FaceBook and I hope to catch up.

KGMom said...

Cathy--I remember this.
You should keep writing. It does require discipline. Sometimes I have it, sometimes I don't.

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