Posted for Poets United Mid-Week Motif – Walk
Can no longer walk
without a cane or proffered
hand to lend support.
Yet, my words in black ink
on white paper, create
a meandering path far easier
Back to Indigo Blue mountains
of Montana, verdant green
trees of Connecticut, or rushing
waters racing to smooth granite
boulders just beyond Michigan
A hawk sitting silent sentinel
in metal tree limbs of utility
pole just south of city limits
near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Or wobbling turkey buzzards,
dark V shaped wings riding currents
above Missouri Interstate. Slow
moving prickly porcupine, sole
greeter at entrance to Yellowstone.
Wavering light of small bonfire
where we sat to listen to echoing calls
of Great Horned Owls filling dark
night with their repetitive chorus.
So many more of these, can only thank
that younger self for gathering
into words that now allow me
to freely walk, once again
Elizabeth Crawford 6/26/2019
Notes: After sitting in a wheelchair (for mobility purposes) for two hours at the doctor’s office yesterday, and coming home exhausted, I had to laugh when I saw the one word prompt for today. Actually thought about a one line response, “Only wish I could.” But then that first stanza marched into my head and I wrote it down and the memories started flowing so I went with it. Memory is definitely a means of walking, and having written them down, they are quite quick to rush to center-stage. The real problem was in choosing from so many. Knowing I would probably end up where I am today, was the major incentive for all the road trips we took while I could still walk without too much effort.
Yes, we can travel in memory. Nothing can stop us, as long as we remember (re-attach limbs). I am sorry you are having so much trouble. Hope your visit with your Doctor went well!
Thank you Annell. The visit did and didn’t, lol. Not much they can do for a slowly collapsing spinal column. At age 17, I was told they could try surgery, but there would not be a promise of full recovery. Chances were high that I would be paralyzed. Saw an orthopedic surgeon two years ago, and after a very full examination, he said the odds remain the same and he wouldn’t suggest taking the chance. I have always known that I’d end up here. That was why it was so important to make the memories while I still could. Truly glad I did so.
Walking down memory lane brings us joy and may be a little sadness too. The poem has so many bright images of a past well lived. So sorry for the present trouble you have Elizabeth. Hope you get well soon. Thank you so much for joining in.
Thank you, Sumana. At my age, getting well is waking up each morning. I’m just glad that the younger me was smart enough to make memories when she could.
Oh yes, luv the craft of the poets walk through words
Thank you Gillena, I have always thought of writing as walking or dancing with words. It’s the movement that always fascinated me.
I love the idea that now we travel through our poems……and we also leave a trail for those to follow after we are gone, should they choose to know us better.
So true Sherry. Poems are definitely bread crumbs.
I like the image of “words in black ink / on white paper” and memory a means of walking. Those who write can indeed walk to faraway places without leaving their seats. Such a lovely inspired poem!
Thank you, Khaya. I think our words on paper are often our footprints daring others to follow, to see and to know where we have been and perhaps to learn a bit by doing so.
Oh, Elizabeth! Perfect. My grandmother, even at age 100 and 102, told me that she just had to shut her eyes to travel. Now that I see all her albums of postcards and photographs, I know where she’s been. And you, Elizabeth, also have the blessings of memory and words. Inspired.
Susan, I think many of the photos that were taken have been lost in four different moves since that time. But, your grandmother was oh so correct, all I have to do is close my eyes and each place comes alive within me. One of the things I love most about writing is how it lodges things in memory.
This is incredibly poignant. I like the idea of memory as a means of walking .. ❤️ I am so deeply sorry to hear about your troubles and am sending you lots of love and prayers.
Sanaa, please don’t feel sorry for me. I’ve had years of knowing this time would come and made space for that reality. Thanks for the love and prayers, they feel like a shawl around my shoulders.
I am sorry that you cannot walk but I am glad you made memories when you were younger. I hope that you can skip down those memories.
Thank you Kanzensakura. Actually I often do spend time skipping down the paths of memories, grateful that I was wise enough to make so many of them. Mostly, they center around the animals I met and learned from. They seemed as curious as I. And I have to wonder if I left as clear a footprint as they did.
What beautiful memories you have to keep you young in spirit!
Thank you Charmed Chaos. Really like your handle. And yes, I stored them up as best I could. They bring a certain balance as nothing else can. I was my father’s fishing buddy from age eight and those adventures, more than anything else, made me aware of the beauty and variety that surrounds us, if we but lean in to listen.
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Clever you, to walk your heart out when you could and make those memories. Thank you for sharing them with us. I have not walked or even seen any of those places, yet now I have had these beautiful glimpses which give me the feeling of them.
Thank you, Rosemary. I have two individuals in my life who help me get out and about. My sister and my once a week helper. My helper, Patty, took me down to the mouth of the river last week, to see the pelicans. They are a symbol of buoyancy, the ability to dive deep, then pop back up to the surface and feed on whatever nurture they have found. That has to be an important life lesson. As many times as I have sought out their company over the years, I’ve never had them come so close as they did last week. Several of them swam within a few feet from where we were seated. And I have to wonder if they somehow knew of my inner need for just that experience. I had brought my camera, only to find that the batteries were dead. Patty took photos with her camera. The pelicans migrate here every summer from a much more Southern climate. I’ll post some of those images on Facebook, if you like.
PS So many wonderful birds! It seems that in these shared memories we can not only walk but fly!
Rosemary, yes. And work on keeping that buoyancy intact.
I loved your response to the prompt and I too miss those days adventuring in wild places (no doubt dangerous to one with wobbly legs like me…but I do have a stick to defend myself now!
Strangely enough, OldEgg, I’ve never felt the need to carry a stick. I find that most of the wild animals I have encountered are as curious as I am. We seem to share a bit of the same spirit.
Your poem settled right into my heart, Elizabeth, bittersweet and beautiful. Sounds as if you’ve made a lot of good memories to walk among. That’s good. We all need to make those memories while we’re still able…they get us through the hard times.
Sending you love and a big, big hug.
Thank you Kathy, for the comment, but especially for that big hug. And yes, I have made many memories and walk through some each time I write. Yesterday wasn’t easy, but as we drove to the doctor’s office, I was looking out the window and thinking, I’d love to see just one hawk. A few moments later I spotted her high atop a utility pole off the highway. Told her how grateful I was and how satisfying her presence was to my person, at just that moment. When I was teaching, I occasionally took my classes out to an outdoor recreational spot that was also a camp ground. My students thought I called the hawks to me in some manner. I told them it was my child-like awe and pleasure that perhaps drew them. I think that might still hold true.
Elizabeth with hugs right backatcha…
Wow so beautifully descriptive that I wish I was there and then that wise last stanza Yes the power of the mind can take you on new journeys You are very resilient and strong
Secret Marja? I’m the biggest chicken-shit I know. I didn’t make those road trips alone. I always had company. I’m pleased and glad that you enjoyed the poem, I thoroughly enjoyed writing it. Thank you,
What a fantastic image… that the black words upon white paper create a path to follow.
Thank you Lori. I have always felt that words, written down are the mind’s footprints. And they often lead us to surprising and more than interesting places. Of course, they most often lead me back to me. and, that in turn, means questions that need more words to find answers. Writing, whether we acknowledge it or not, is a constant growth process.
Walking in memory can often (or sometimes) be more satisfying than actually getting out onto the sidewalk. May it continue to be so for you.
We travel reading books, and we travel writing words. I am sorry that you cannot walk now, but you sure can write and create art!
You must love to travel. That is what I hope to do as much as possible when it the world is ready for travel. Isn’t it our memories that help us with imagery when we see something or recall something we’ve seen?
Thanks for the visit, and yes, I did love to travel. I kept a daily journal for almost forty years, even on those road trips. I truly believe that writing enhances memory more than anything else can.