News From the Natural World: At the Pond

This poem is a response to the challenge Michelle Heidenrich Barnes posed on her blog yesterday. All month, Michelle has been sharing writing tips and wisdom from Patrice Vecchione‘s new book, My Shattered, Shouting, Whispering Voice: A Guide to Writing Poetry and Speaking Your TruthHere’s the prompt:

For this week’s challenge, I’ve selected “Into the Future: Take Yourself There Now” (Chapter 53) from Part III of My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice. Patrice writes:  

Is the future a place you wish you could arrive at now? I remember feeling that way. Or maybe here and now is fine. For the length of a poem, venture into that place called future, as you imagine it; peer into its unknown terrain, and see what you find.  

As some of you may know, I have an eleven-week old granddaughter. Fortunately, I was able to visit her in February before we all had to stay home. But of course I’m anxious to see her again. Her father, my son, recently sent me a photo of a baby turtle near the pond in their yard. This poem imagines a future visit to the pond with my granddaughter.

Someday soon
I’ll take your hand
and we’ll walk to the pond.

Careful where you step!
A baby turtle, no bigger than a quarter,
is lumbering toward the pond, too.

When he arrives,
he’ll slip into the water
to forage for algae
and insects.

When we arrive,
we’ll sit on the bank
keeping our eyes peeled.
Maybe he’ll climb onto a log
to bask in the warm sun
after his meal.

Or maybe a heron will alight
on the pond’s far edge,
where the brook flows in.
You’ll grow restless
as she tiptoes on her stick-like legs,
uncurling her slender neck,
thrusting her bill
into the murky water,
aiming for a fish.

Time for lunch? you wonder.
Time for lunch, I nod.

Hand in hand,
we’ll leave the pond.
Someday soon.

Draft, © Catherine Flynn, 2020

Previous “News From the Natural World” poems:

April 17: The Red Chair
April 16: Dear Venus
April 15: Listen
April 14: Ode to a Tide Pool
April 11: What Does A Bird’s Egg Know?
April 10: Clusters of Clover
April 9: Song of the Pink Moon
April 8: Jewel of the Jungle
April 5: Phantom of the Forest
April 4: To Build a Nest
April 3: Apple Cake
April 2: Specimen
April 1: Forest Snail


17 thoughts on “News From the Natural World: At the Pond

  1. Someday soon, I love the hopefulness of that. I’m so sad for you that you can’t visit Baby Hazel now. I’m enjoying walks with Leo three times a week when Maggie goes into her office. His sitter lives near me. But Thomas has only been on FaceTime. They change so quickly. You are a natural at writing about the natural world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope ‘someday soon’, Catherine. I’m sad that you’re missing seeing your granddaughter (in person!), but now you’ve written about her and showing her the wonders of nature. Our future holds good things, especially with family!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LOVE this, Catherine! Exactly the kind of poem I was hoping for. Something to make me smile and be reminded that this chaos and disruption will, indeed, pass. Will be sharing on TLD next week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also feel the hopefulness and grandmother love. I like the effect of you holding your granddaughter’s hand at the beginning and at the end. I’m not a grandmother, yet, but your poem brought back my emotions when I held my daughter’s little hands while we explored nature. Your poem is a gift. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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