I Hope

As I recover from my illness and its effects, I have been doing a lot of walking in the park and a lot of looking at the world around me. So many details that I have overlooked or ignored in the past now catch my attention. I work to make sense of patterns I had not noticed before. Writing poetry has helped me to order my thinking and see new possibilities.

person sitting under a tree 2013


I heard it before I saw it
Falling through the branches striking one
barely slowed by the thick leaves
The green walnut
hit the ground in front of me
and bounced.
I sensed a summons
and obeyed it
bending and picking it up
fingers evaluating the sandpapery feel
fine grit, I’d say, if asked,
but slippery, somehow
and the mild soapy smell
they all have
I do like it.
What’s it want
I wondered
to leave it here for some squirrel to eat
Maybe to throw it into the creek
where maybe it will sink to the bottom
But maybe
It will float downstream and wash ashore
for a squirrel to eat
Or maybe
It will find a hiding place and be left in peace to sprout
and grow into a tiny little shoot
to be strangled by a faster-growing vine
Though maybe
It will evade all hungry appetites
heavy-footed creatures
pests and diseases
Maybe it will find the sunshine it needs
grow big and strong
dozens of feet tall
and live as long as it wants to.
and that’s why
I flung that walnut way out into the creek
and I didn’t look to see where it went
Just walked off
smelling that mild soapy smell
and feeling the greasy rough green feel
of maybe
on my fingers


8 thoughts on “I Hope

  1. Thanks, I think this poem really expresses my current feelings. The illness I mentioned is the same one I have been fighting the last 2 years and for which I had the 2 hand surgeries and worsened during this last winter. It was not life-threatening but has been life altering. Luckily I am progressing well. I have made a lot of changes due to this whole process which were needed and my eyes have been opened to how many people care about me and have helped me. Possibilities exist that I had not understood before. Funny how what seems so grim can turn out well. I hope this poem expresses my feelings about possiblities.

  2. This poem leaped onto paper direct from my real life, and I think I went through the whole though process described faster than it takes to read about it. It just seemed right to let go of the walnut and to have no idea what happened. I did feel it dropped right at my feet for just that reason, for me to send it on its way,can’t say why, but I did feel that way.

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