Kid Tracks

Tuesday, I’m at the Vermont Department of Libraries for an all-day workshop in the enormous, former high school — the loveliest of buildings in Barre. Built on a hill with a view of the town, every time I walk through the doors I wonder when we thought it was wiser to educate kids in ugly brick and nearly-windowless buildings instead of spacious and high-ceilinged rooms, with a sweeping staircase and polished woodwork.

How the world changes. The building is largely quiet now.

Midday, I walk on slushy sidewalks around a nearby park, a perfect square fronted by enormous ornate Victorian houses. On a snowbank, I see where a child’s mittened hand pressed ripples into the fresh white. The waves are low, and so I imagine a small child walking along in a snowsuit, thinking of not much at all but the pleasure of pressing fingertips into snow. The bank ends, and there’s no more sign of the child.

Here’s one more poem from Buhner’s book…..

People possess four things
that are no good at sea:
rudder, anchor, oars
and the fear of going down.

— Machado

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Photo by Gabriela. Hazen trails, Hardwick.

Break That Cliche: Writing Lesson from the Kids

My ten-year-old came downstairs the other morning dressed in shorts although it was only 39 degrees. No. I immediately said. But it might warm up, she insisted.

In this afternoon’s rain, the kids have headed down the road to the neighbors’ trampoline because it’s fun in the rain, apparently, even in a cold May rain.

These Vermont kids, like the unfurling leaves in my apple trees, are vigorously unstoppable with their own flowing sap. At ten and eleven, the world is as new to them as this magnificently unfolding spring. Lacking rigid expectations, why not leap in the rain? – Although I did notice the girls had the foresight to pull on extra pairs of socks.

 

The artist, and particularly the poet, is always an anarchist in the best sense of the word. He must heed only the call that arises within him from three strong voices: the voice of death, with all its foreboding, the voice of love, and the voice of art.

– Federico Garcia Lorca

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Vermont dusk