Friday, October 11, 2013

Running

Running

I return today to Shingle Creek,
walking in the fine fall afternoon
alone. Wading through the shallows
to the east bank, right where the creek
cuts close to the old Bronson place,
I feel like the last ancient Israelite
crossing the Red Sea, barely ahead
of Pharaoh’s chariots.
                                     Crouching low
under the barb-wire fence I swish
through the shin-high grass, the humming
dragonflies hunting insects, shining
their blues and greens
in the lowering sun.
                                 I hear
a tractor in the distance, the rumble
carrying far in the clear air,
and I think about that day
we ran, you and I, making paths
through the field, pretending we were
dirt bike champions, shifting gears
by the rising tone of our growls.
For hours we ran, stopping just to catch
a lazy red corn snake sunning
on a sweetgum stump.
                                     I know
that with these old knees
I couldn’t run like that now, not by
any luck or necessity; and you,
old friend, only in memory
will ever run here again.

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For dVerse MeetingTheBar. We are writing about friends, friendship, loss, in honor of Dave King. Dave was a regular contributor to the online poetry world (at least until his health limited his participation), and his kindness and craft will be missed.

30 comments:

  1. nice allusion to fleeing the egyptians...and the sound of the tractor bringing back memories...we used to play in the fields growing up so i def have some strong memories attached there.....heavy with memories man....

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    1. Thanks Brian--I feel like I had a fortunate childhood. My parents let me play outside pretty much whenever and wherever I wanted, and I'm so happy I have this old connection with fields, creeks, trees, etc. Of course, I'm sure I gave them good reason to send me outside so often . . .

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  2. I used to spend my summer holidays in the countryside, climbing on tractors, running on fields - you capture that freedom and carefree childhood friendships. And then moving on, growing old, the sense of loss... returning to our childhood haunts. A poignant story-poem, brimming with nostalgia.

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    1. Thanks Marina--in some ways, my whole life has been an attempt to recapture that childhood freedom.

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  3. This was a very moving write, Nico. Time passes WAY too fast, but at least we can relieve pleasant childhood experiences in our memories and preserve them in poetry.

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    1. Thanks Mary--when did I get so old? I don't really always feel old, but then my knees have a way of reminding me.

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  4. what a heartfelt write... you capture both, the carefree play and how much you miss him..

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    1. Thanks Claudia--my friendships are always tied to memories of place. I see that as a good thing.

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  5. I can almost smell the hay, Nico! A beautiful memory.

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    1. Thanks Marya, for taking this little excursion with me.

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  6. Summer memories...bitter sweet with loss of a beloved friend. Lovely Nico!

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    1. Thanks Cress, I'm happy you liked it!

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  7. Love the way you capture the memories here. You have captured place and the feeling of those moments so well. You had me reminiscing on some of my similar experiences with friends of the past. Beautiful work.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer--I hoped that (among other things) my poem would lead my readers deep into their own reminisces.

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  8. I too enjoyed the Biblical reference Nico! I enjoyed the way you evoke your childhood memories.

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    1. Thanks Gabriella. I grew up in the American Bible-belt--those old stories just brim on the surface of my mind, waiting to be skimmed off.

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  9. I enjoy the immediacy of your use of the present tense in this. A wonderful journey back in time and friendship. And you've gifted me with an idea for an opening line for snippets of an idea rumbling around in my head. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks Victoria--your work has often inspired me, so I'm happy to return the favor!

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  10. Bittersweet poem about old an old friend. It makes me yearn for those care-free days of childhood. Riding my bike on the trails we created by going over them so much-climbing tree's, playing ghost in the graveyard etc...thanks for the memories...

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    1. Thanks Linda, I'm glad you could relive some of those enjoyable times!

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  11. Very moving poetry, filled with beautiful detail.

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    1. Thanks Anna--without detail, where would we be?

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  12. Love how you describe the nature .. the grasses, the tractor... you moved me there, and the connection to a childhood. Almost a life tale in those few lines, and that sad end. enchanting write

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    1. Thanks Bjorn--I'm fascinated at how pretty much every tale, if told correctly, contains an entire life. Those deep connections . . .

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  13. You capture the enchantments of childhood, even barbed wire as part of the excitement...

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    1. Thanks Kathy--oh yeah, the barb-wire was ESSENTIAL to the excitement!

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  14. A very sweet poem-- the pacing is really lovely. k.

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    1. Thanks Karin--I'm happy you liked it.

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  15. You took me there so completely that I got a lump in my throat at the thought of the friend who will only run there again in memory. A glorious poem.

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  16. A stunning poem I felt I was there...beautiful and touching poem.

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