Finding Treasure Wherever We Can

Posted by on 11.26.07 | No Comments
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In Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter says to Alice, “You’re not paying attention, and if you don’t pay him, you know he won’t perform.” This quote sums up why I am a practicing poet. Because it’s easy to not pay attention. It’s easy to get caught up in our agendas (especially during holiday time) and not see what miracles are happening under our nose. And not all miracles are easily identified as such right off the bat.

What happens when we drop our to do list and pay attention? You might come up with a poem, as I did, pasted below. Send me yours if you do.


Treasure Hunt in the Woods

But after three steps into the evergreen shade,

he drops to his knees and begins to furrow.

It’s here, mama, he says. Let’s dig.

I pick up a knobby spruce twig and poke absently at dirt,

hoping we can start walking again.

No, mama, like this. With your hands.

I pretend I don’t hear.

He takes my hands in his own, forces them down.

Fine sand runs through my fingers,

old spruce needles swim in it like unstrung commas.

I settle in, sifting and digging up dirt. Making piles.

No mama, deeper than that, he says,

scratching his with his nails into the hardpan.

I dig deeper, past my desire to keep my hands clean.

Past whatever I had set out to do. Treasure is cold

and filled with crooked things that slip through fingers.



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