Like the mountain laurel,
my love of the mossy forest floor
is rooted deep in the generous soil
of my childhood.
For decades, I have drawn on
the abundant fields of Pennsylvania,
bursting with tall, golden husks of corn,
with waist-high tassels of wheat -
those unruly dandelions in overgrown pastures.
I have drunk from spring-fed ponds,
swallowed the sour flesh of green apples,
bled in the raspberry bushes,
been calmed by wild mint tea.
I have slept the sleep of the dead
in the pine's cathedrals.
So, on this first blistering-cold
snowy day in an unfriendly city,
I can put down roots in my imagination
and grow trees of words that change colors,
flowers of verbs that blossom twelve months a year,
I can become lace like the seeding milkweed
and catch wind to sail the autumn skies of memory
or stay still in my room rooted to the floorboards
like the heavy, petaled rose basking in the warm air,
in remembered summer sunlight.
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society