The poet and the naturalist view wilderness with a different set of lenses, ’tis true, but each discipline is much improved when informed by the other—as proven by Thoreau. Deborah Pope shifts back and forth as the moment calls for, and her observations of nature are excellent. Now the author of four celebrated poetry collections, Pope lives in North Carolina.
My sons, four and seven, in yellow slickers,
were coming down the long, gravel drive
in the rain, carrying the morning paper.
Their black umbrellas crazily swayed
and jaunted above them. I could see only
their legs until they tilted their awkward
awnings back like the Morton Salt girl.
Their joy brimmed over every puddle,
every emphatic stomp of their soaked-through
shoes. They paused, waved to where
I stood at the kitchen window,
in the ache of that ancient longing—
a child’s approach, return.
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