Poem of the Week, by Robin Rosen Chang

Four spots open in each of our two remaining one-day workshops next month – I’d love to see you there. Check them out here.

When my kids were tiny and one of them or their friends fell and hurt themselves, they would all cry in sympathy. I remember them touching their scrapes to my body, as if that would somehow take away the hurt.

If a tree is in distress, other trees funnel sugar and water to it through their roots. How many times have you seen someone in pain and felt your own throat close up in sorrow with them? We humans walk around contained inside skin but sometimes skin feels like a mirage.

Indian Creek with Neighbor Boy, by Robin Rosen Chang
       

When we were kids, we explored
the creek, meandered with it
through our yards and beyond
as if we had discovered it
ourselves. We wandered along its bed,
navigating its contours
until we learned where the water
moved fastest, where it trickled,
where its stones jutted out
forming steps for us to cross
from one side to the other.
When we knew the creek perfectly,
we rolled our pants,
tossed our dirty socks and damp sneakers
and waded through it,
lifting rocks to catch crayfish
and scooping up salamanders
shrouded in the cool mud.

In winters, we stomped along
its gray frozen surface like giants,
cracking the ice with our heavy steps,
or slid clumsily on the thicker patches
behind the McCabes’ house.
Once, you shattered it
and fell in. When you got up,
dripping wet, tears
streaming down your chubby child cheeks,
you turned to me,
as if maybe it was my fault.
A true friend wouldn’t just stand there.
To ease your pain,
I lay in the frigid creek,
in the exact spot where you had fallen.

For more information on Robin Rosen Chang, please check out her website.
alisonmcghee.com
Words by Winter: my podcast

One comment

  1. mickiblenkush · October 30, 2021

    Another extra-beautiful, moving poem. Thank you for sharing it!

    Like

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