Literary Hook: Poem explores the clarity found while sitting in the dentist’s chair

By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet

The groundhog has spoken. Six more weeks of winter. Here is a poem by Carol Fox, a member of Tuesday Writers, celebrating a surprising glimpse of winter in an unsuspecting environment.

Carol Fox has lived in the Rockford area for 39 years. A retired teacher and librarian, she keeps busy learning French, taking piano lessons, writing poetry and, of course, reading. Spring will see a newly-planted butterfly garden in her back yard.

The Clearing

A small open space
in a smaller wood
sat unheralded
behind my dentist’s office.
Captive in the chair, I had nothing more to do
than watch the snow-covered
ground and a few scrawny squirrels
as they darted after one another.
The day was bright,
a sunny blue sky,
but the trees were scrub and
unremarkable until a spot of red
swooped into a poplar
about a hundred feet away.
It was so distant I saw nothing
but a brilliant red jewel
in a black-and-white world.
I knew how fleeting the moment—
the minute or two
the tree would hold this fortune
and because of that
I was amazed at my own good luck,
remembered to be thankful and
marked the minutes in marvel.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet.

From the Feb. 17-23, 2010 issue

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