Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 18: I Must Go Out and Find Something Else to Hate

Today, I was thinking about what it would be like to leave a place you'd worked hard to farm.  I drive the same back roads most mornings on my commute to teach at Napa Valley College.  They are winding roads paved over steep green hills.  This morning as I was driving I started thinking about what it must have been like to drive on a road like this in a wagon.  Then, when I passed an orchard filled with trees that hadn't been taken care of for years, I thought about what it would feel like to leave an apple farm you've put your sweat and blood into.  Here is my draft for today:

I Must Go Out and Find Something Else to Hate

Besides the pink-petal blossoms that flag
the untrimmed trees that continually line
the passage of potholed roads carrying
me away from their embrace and this place.

I must find something that is more deadly
than arsenic and lead to kill what spreads
uncontrollably: mistletoe, cankers
mildew, flies, and my need to always look back.

I must watch the green hills roll out toward
somewhere else where the fog rests. I must
site a single tree rising on the hill’s
green, broad back, and know it as a sign

Even as the wagon slows, even as
the dust rises to blind us of hope.


Tracie Morell said...

I love being able to read you. I will miss you at the Fest. Martin Espada is going to be heading my workshop. Excited, and wish you could be there.

Iris Jamahl Dunkle said...

It's so nice to hear from you Tracie! Enjoy Chautauqua this summer. I'll be missing you all. Hope you are writing up a storm.