Literary Hook: A poem for winter time

This morning, the snow on the prairie grass in the back yard sparkled in a magical way that reminded me of a poem I wrote many years ago. The poem, “Walking Along the Rock River,” was written in winter as the ice was forming on the river. It was first published in Downtown Gazette (no longer in existence), and again in my collection, Slow Miracle, by Lake Shore Publishing.

Walking Along the Rock River

There were times when walking here

would not have been enough,

times my restless spirit needed an ocean,

not this river, simple and serene.

But today I thank each wild place

in this trip composite,

compassion winding like this river.

Just today I hear ice like wind chimes,

wonder how long the sun has carved

these transient diamonds,

how the mallard’s emerald chevron

came to be a stamp of evolution,

holding a code I may never know—

this feather, fallen in the snow.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet who has written several books of poetry and formerly wrote a column called “The Writer’s Garret” for this newspaper.

From the Jan. 24-30, 2007, issue

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