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the path that winds downhill
is overgrown this year;
it catches the wheels of my cart,
spills out my water.
i am late to this painting party -
grapes are mostly eaten,
remaining guests sparse,
folding chairs scattered the length of its cut bank.
an older artist studies roots downstream;
mid-stream, a lady with laugh lines
paints the patterns of the mud bank;
downhill, an acrylic artist sits at the meadow’s end in sunlight.
i pick up discarded debris – pinecones, dropped moss,
a flower; nothing feels like i belong;
i fidget, drag my laden kit, listen to bridge rattle my wheels.
i just can’t locate my right spot.
i follow the west side of the steep-seated creek,
muddy banks cut with rivulets of recent rains;
all the favorite vantages are claimed
and the northern bridge, the worn wooden one - washed out.
i wander back, cross the metal grating of the south bridge -
wheels a noisy clatter as they advance and fall.
i know my tardy attendance disturbs contemplation …
my late arrival, my baggage, my inexperience.
i lug my hopes and kit to the meadow & turn;
that picnic area i just passed through
filled with dappled sap-green glow,
branches arched overhead, outlined in sunlight.
here i belong;
artists who came before me pose on waterbanks.
light & shadow dance iin light breezes
as summer waits on the wing -
this nostalgia calls for watercolor.
About this poem
Published in Write The Town 2016. Mid-Valley Poets Society.2016. Written on site at The Glen at Capital Manor, Salem, Oregon.
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