Earlier this month Margaret Simon asked if I would be interested in participating in the 2020 Progressive Poem during the month of April. I quickly agreed (Why not? It’s poetry!), not really knowing what I was getting into. I soon learned that the KidLit Progressive poem has been around since 2012. Thirty poets sign on to add a line to a poem each day in April. This year each new poet has been given the choice of two lines, then offering choices to whomever is next in line. It’s been fun watching the poem unfold, seeing if my choices match those that were chosen, and thinking about what would happen when it was my turn. You can see the lines Tabitha offered me here, and my choice below:
Progressive Poem 2020
Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes
and a banjo passed down from my gram.
I follow the tracks of deer and raccoon
and echo the call of a wandering loon.
A whispering breeze joins in our song
and night melts into a rose gold dawn
Deep into nature’s embrace, I fold.
Promise of spring helps shake the cold
hints of sun lightly dapple the trees
calling out the sleepy bees
Leaf-litter crackles…I pause. Twig snaps.
I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.
We freeze. My green eyes and her brown
Meet and lock. Time slows down.
I scatter the cakes, backing away
I like the way the cakes from the first stanza appeared again. I felt that offering the cakes could signal the understanding and respect that we share with nature, but it could also be a way to ensure a safe exit. I’ll let Janice at Salt City Verse decide. Here are the choices I came up with:
Safely exiting this strange ballet.
My heart aware, content to share.
Thanks for the opportunity to join in.