*This poem references Plaint of the Poet in an Ignorant Age, by Carolyn Kizer (1959).
On a late summer morning, I ventured
into Rocky Narrows as the sun peaked
the horizon. Flora’s cool darkening
crowded the trail, and deeper, I pushed.
In the shade, dewy ferns overreached to
deposit deer ticks onto my tall socks—
stopping to sweep them away, a bird I’ve
never heard squawked a song from the treetops.
It was then I thought of dear Ms. Kizer—
slinking about in a jazzy housecoat,
perplexed and sucking on a green olive—
trying to wake those dozing metaphors.
And I would I were a botany-boy
or a bug-boy with a backpack full of
books, but no. I am, at thirty-nine, a
poetry-man with little time to learn.
So I forgot the no-bird singing in
the no-name tree and stomped my way down the
path, scaring squirrels and kicking pine cones—
bruising my arches on paunchy acorns.