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

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