Friday, August 26, 2011

The Magic of Nature

When I was a child I might disappear for awhile,

Looking for places that were deemed worthwhile,

The top of a tree, Inside a fortress of hay,

To observe the magic of nature just for the day,

But I didn’t want to be late for dinner,

Southern cornbread, fried potatoes and beans,

Tomatoes, onions, pokesalad greens,

If I was hungry come and get it while it’s hot,

If I had to be called twice, I guess I’m not,

But I had to see the speckled eggs in a bluebird’s nest,

Stop to watch the piglets feed at Mr. Joe’s Barn,

Stoop to throw a rock at snakes that could do me some harm,

Count the circles the hawk made as she searched for mice,

Wondered if the crawdads would still be nice,

Listen to the frogs croak at the edges of the pond,

Take one last look and wave my magic wand,

“Stay there,” I would call, “I’ll don’t want to be thinner,”

And off I’d race to get part of dinner,

Mom would be exasperated, “What kept you?”

I’d hang my head, “I had things to do,”

Then when I finished my chores,

I asked if I could go outdoors,

For the sun was hanging at earth’s very edge,

Splashing red and gold on trees and hedge,

And then as it slipped away from the day,

Darkness descended so animals could play,

Scissortails and bats flew around with flair,

Snatching mosquitoes and insects out of the air,

Nocturnal shapes and all kinds of beasts,

Appeared from the shadows ready to feast,

Dinner for them was life or death,

The quickest, the strongest, the ones out of breath,

Huffing and puffing or slipping around,

They measured their foes by fang or by sound,

I watched and waited for a deadly dance,

Marveled in nature’s way of living by chance,

Then with starlight to guide me homeward I sped,

Where I could sleep soundly in my own safe bed.

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