Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Our vacation was wonderful, I have to say. Absolutely amazing. Perfect? No. Relaxing? Not a chance. But lovely, nonetheless. Gatlinburg, Tennessee and nearby Pigeon Forge have got to be the kitschy-est places I have ever set eyes on. They make Hampton Beach or the White Mountains tourist areas look like child's play. Especially Pigeon Forge. Eeesh. I had sensory overload, never mind Ethan, but we had a darned good time. We did mini-golf and go karts and a mirror maze and the Gatlinburg Space Needle and Dollywood and saw old friends and oh yeah, hiked in a national park and even saw bears. The ride was incredibly long and I ate way too much fast food and I wouldn't change a thing about the week. Even the two hours the power went out in our hotel right at bedtime. An adventure it surely was.

Walking in the Smoky Mountains one muggy afternoon, something came to me as we trudged on the path, looking at the stones. Suddenly I felt inspired to write a poem again. I got into poetry in the 90s during college. Most of them were awful. Then I found my voice, and they were, well, maybe not publishable, but not so awful.

After walking that day, I felt inspired to write something poem-like for the first time in about a decade. So I jotted it down on a piece of hotel paper. Only I don't know what to do with it, and I don't know exactly what it means, and it's not even that poem-like. So I thought I'd share it here:


This is the moment that I knew.
Walking down a dusty, winding trail that seemed unending,
I looked down to the ground and saw stones.

And no matter how I looked, I saw the shapes of hearts in them.

Some were rounded to perfection, the way a heart should look.

"I will call her perfect," my daughter said, slipping the pebble into her pocket.

But others had more jagged edges;

were lopsided, not smoothly formed.
I did not pick them up but padded over them and smiled,
looking on to the clearing, the way out of all the trees.


Anonymous said...

i like that you called your poem 'Healing'. i used to stare at leaves on trees and notice the imperfect ones - ones with discolorations that looked like blemishes or ones that had holes. i kept looking for the beauty in them. anyway, your poem makes me think of that.

Deb said...

I think I know just what you mean. I guess I was thinking about the way I was looking around and seeing beauty right in front of me, in unexpected places, instead of honing in on the negative, and that, as you say, sometimes that beauty is imperfect but no less valuable. I had to go through some things before I could really see that.