I wrote this for my granddaughter, Chloe, who turned twenty years old this month. A few days after her birthday celebration with all the family, we had a little picnic at Bowman's Creek - just the two of us - chicken salad, homemade pickles, peaches, iced tea with limes. We had the place to ourselves that day. We had a good time sitting there by the water - talking about the past, wondering about the future. Chloe tells me the most interesting things, too. She amazes me, really. She has always lived away from us, but comes to stay here in the summer. So, our relationship is a special one. We have to pack a lot into those few weeks! While watching her wade out into the creek, singing to the fish - this poem was already forming. Oh, and Bowman's Creek is a place where we have always gone. We used to swim in the cold currents years ago and ride the "rapids" in an inner tube. I would take the kids all summer long, before the pool. We used to have big family picnics there, too. (Oh, those halcyon days of years ago.) I guess this seems like a big intro for a short poem, but - as you all know, I am all about brevity in my poetry...I try to say a lot in as few words as possible. Hopefully, it has worked here.
The time of water is over
and most of our sun is gone -
wrapped in a filmy gauze
left over from our days of
sweet and soft iridescence.
But before that –
her skin had reflected water,
as she waded up to her knees
in the cold swirling creek,
singing to the fishes that hid
among the mossy ledges, imploring
them to eat bread from her hands.
And there, by the huge sycamores
that rose up mottled around us,
I felt like time had reeled back
and we were the universe again,
and we were the ancient mystery
that we had always been.