Sunday, August 07, 2005

Saratoga, 1956

Opening Poem Note: At my age, I am still writing poems about my childhood. Some memories of that long-ago time are still incredibly vivid.

At Saratoga, 1956

On an island in the creek I discover frost. In June.
I gaze from the bank. Crystals sparkle on every leaf and blade of grass,

on every twig and pebble. Shimmer in the summer sun. Magical but forbidden,
locked behind a cast iron fence. The mainland world seems green

and ordinary. I’m ten years old, desperately yearning to explore.
The teachers? Busy with other kids. I look both ways, plunge

in and wade the creek. Scramble over the fence.
Crush jewels underfoot. Touch

warm frost. Amazed, I touch again. It crumbles instead of melting.
In my eagerness, I break the delicate jewels.

Slowing, slowing, surrounded by radiance, I finally
lift one crystal leaf intact and hold in my own hands

a piece of all this light.

Mary Stebbins
For Peggy Bell, Stuart Brewer, Mr. Sharp and Mr. Armstrong
050122a; 11/13/2004 10:12 AM
sent to Avocet 10-22-05

Closing poem note: What I did was wrong, and I am wrong not to regret it. I know that if everyone did it, the place would be ruined, but I would not want to erase that memory!

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