Moving Outdoors


This week, with the dawn of slightly warmer weather, I decided to move eating (and general being) outdoors. I was reminded of this poem I wrote in 2002, eight months after the September 11 attacks.

 When Summer Came in 2002

My daughter and I carried the spare table out

back, began to live under green and blue.

Spent our days nourished, and noticing things.

Like the flamboyance of a single tiger

lily against the foxgloves’ purple foil,

or the way just-fledged finches played like

kids in a fountain as the soaker-hose

drenched their twitching wings.

As men in faraway places carried their

deaths onto buses, in bombs strapped to thighs,

we sought the golden lilt of the monarch.

As soldiers bulldozed refugee homes,

ate food stockpiled by the occupied,

we absorbed the tickling scent of blooms,

chased a flashing red to find a box-

elder bug.  While men in high places called

assassinations and hookers, we learned the song

of the chickadee, the maple leaves’

hushing.  As boys fought to “protect our way

of life,” we lived like we knew

we were going to die.


© Tricia Gates Brown 2002


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