Volume II, Issue I Spring 2003


The Wildness at Street's End

Charlene is a prolific writer, having had not only her poetry previously published, but theater reviews and columns as well (many here in Turbula). She's contributed to everyone from Investor's Business Daily to the La Jolla Village News. She was also a contributor to "Chicken Soup for the Volunteer's Soul."

In the back country rocks are piled haphazard,
Rent by pressure of an ancient god.
The street is strewn with socks;
A condom coils in the gutter, and I stoop
For a plastic box that holds a washer and a screw.

The wildness at street's end calls me,
And like a weed growing through the asphalt,
I plunge through, to walk where you warned me not to go.
There, even in a spring without rain, plants grow,
Send forth shoots of green, test the earth warm
With different slant of sun and longer days.

My friend Jay has always found the vernal pools,
The natural streams in places of rock and wildness,
Where birds gorge on sow bugs big as caterpillars,
Where the raven's caw rends a silence broken
Only by water drawn downhill over stone.

The path grows twisted and steep as I stagger to the summit.
My son's questions, lichen adhering to the shadows in my brain.
In the meadow, a red hummer sips nectar from yellow flowers,
And I, the always Mother Wise One, do not know.


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