Sunday, 25 May 2014

An abiding image ...

Eastertime 1962

That day in April
I left my grandparents’ house
and walked to the river,
the majestic St. Lawrence.

Beside it sheep grazed,
their paddock filled with yellow daffodils:
yellow beyond yellow,
green beyond green.

Willow trees arched over the low stone walls,

their branches veiled against the blue-sky sunshine:

I walked on to where a young boy was fishing.

As I watched, he hauled in his catch:
not the delicate silvery fish I was expecting
but a long, thin, black creature,
the embodiment of a hiss:
S-shaped and angry,
muscular, coiling, wrestling on the hook.

How could such a thing be in that water?

The sheep, oblivious to menace, kept their heads down.
But I kept watching that startled boy and his writhing fish.

© Lorna Harris
May 5, 2014

I wrote this poem as an informal assignment for the final Spiritual Direction intensive at Mt. Carmel. At the previous intensive last fall, Cathy Smith-Bowers asked each of us to choose a colour or have a colour choose us and, using it, find an abiding image as the basis for our poem. I struggled with yellow all winter as I did not feel at all yellow. Several days before we were due to be in Niagara Falls I wrote this. You would hardly guess that yellow was the colour, would you!

The poems of the other members of my group were really wonderful, and I venture to say, none of us considers ourself as a poet. But of course, somewhere inside, we all are.