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 mallards 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 Writers Garret for this newspaper.
From the Jan. 24-30, 2007, issue