PAD Challenge and Creek Walk

April is National Poetry Month, and to celebrate, I’ve decided to again take up the challenge to write a poem-a-day. I altered the challenge a bit last year to only happen on the weekdays unless I felt particularly inspired on the weekends, so I will likely stick to these guidelines again this year. My kids and husband deserve some attention at least on the weekends 😉

To kick things off, I’d like to mention how I started this afternoon carrying around a notebook in my hooded sweatshirt walking down the sidewalk with my kids. Apparently I thought I could sneak in a poem while Lydia rode her bike and Elvis wandered from grass to sidewalk to tree to grass to sidewalk. A laughable effort, to say the least. I was on the hunt for a poem – I came back with a son on my shoulders and the notebook rolled up in the pocket of my sweatshirt.

It was feeling like a very poor start to this challenge, but after the kids went to bed, I whipped out the notebook and started in on this poem (now in third draft form, maybe?):

Creek Walk

Wading in the stream to feel the current
find its way between my legs, I become
part of the riverbed, sediment blending
with my toes. I am woven with the wild
grasses on the banks, molded to the surface
of the earth in perfect curves, my body
fluid, rooted. I could be washed
away with a little extra rain.

What trickles harmless around me now
will expose the roots of ancient trees
downriver later, who lean toward light,
grow sideways to keep from sliding.
They too will join the rapid flow,
deteriorate and turn to sediment.

I dip my fingers in to feel the river
make room for me. I will participate
in this shifting of earth – dirt loosened
until the roots give way.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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