Friday, March 20, 2009

Poetry Friday

For Hunter Park

"Stay away," says the fear.

"Please come back," says the breeze.

"They had guns," says the fear.

"I have birds," say the trees.

"There was blood," says the fear.

"I've got sun," says the sky.

"Someone died," says the fear.

And there is no reply.

"But I'm scared," says the fear,

"My complacency's gone."

"Yes, it is," says the park,

"Now come back, and walk on."

This past weekend, a young man was shot and killed in the park where I take my lunch hour walks. But I will continue to walk the path. It's a beautiful park, and it belongs to us all.


jama said...

I love the "walk on"! Great job. Sorry to hear about this tragedy.

Kim said...

I'm cheering you on, and praying for you. Love the poem, I felt your determination and your fear.

Debbie Diesen said...

jama, Kim, thanks for your kind words. Hunter Park is a wonderful place, full of old and graceful trees, and also full of new growth: a community gardenhouse, and a recently renovated pool and splash area. It's a great place. Even as I heard the news, I knew the growth there would continue, and I would continue to enjoy the park. But even knowing and believing that, there is a part of one that can't help but feel a bit of fear. And I knew, too, that many people would wrestle with that. What does one do with fear when a place of beauty and community is marred by something awful? Thus came this poem.

Neverending story said...

What a conversation!!! Strength to you and the breeze, trees, sky and park. Fear can often be such a thief.

Anonymous said...

What a horrible incident at your park. Your poem is powerful -- and a beautiful tribute to the human spirit, and nature's healing, in times of tragedy.

Barb said...

A beautiful response is the best way to address a terrible event. Well done you.

Amy Huntley said...

Deb...I love this poem just because it's such a power way of dealing with a personal experience, but I'm just ever the teacher. I can't stop myself from saying, "Gee, this would be a GREAT way to teach my students about personification!" Can I use this in my classroom?

Debbie Diesen said...

Jacqueline, Martha, Barb, and Amy, thanks for your nice words. I've been back to the park many, many times now, and I walk with certainty and confidence. But there's still that tiny feeling of something somewhere between fear and anger that occasionally pops up briefly.

Amy, absolutely you're welcome to use the poem with your students.

Claire said...

Hi Debbie, I came across your powerful poem while reading a journal article by Laura DeLind. I have shared it with my daughter who is writing poetry as part of her degree course. As a horticulturist I understand how the land whispers to me. Thank you for your words.
Best wishes
Claire Moore (England)

Debbie Diesen said...

Claire, thank you for your kind words! (I apologize for my slow reply - somehow your comment went into an "awaiting moderation" folder and I didn't see it until just now.) It means a great deal to me. Thank you.