This poem was first shared on Oct. 25, 2013 – about a week or so after I returned home from my very first Highlights Foundation workshop. If you have never attended one, I highly encourage you to do so; they are as inspiring as they are educational.
I’m re-posting this poem today not only because we are approaching fall (the first day of autumn is one week from today!), but because I just learned this week that I will be attending my SECOND workshop next month – with Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard. I’m so excited to see them, my Flashlight Night editor Rebecca Davis, and so many others who will be attending!
This poem was one of many inspired by my time there in Honesdale, PA. I hope you like it….
Do you remember
when we almost got lost
down by the creek
near that old stone wall?
It all started with an apple.
One of us (I don’t recall)
had twisted the season’s last McIntosh
from a withered branch. Sharing
small bites, we ate
all the way around
save for a dark blemish where something wild
had gnawed its flesh.
Tossing the core deep into woods
we ran across the field
for no reason
other than to run
for no reason
other than to laugh.
When we finally reached the creek
(were you first, or me?)
remember how we spent our time
walking the rocks
and making sure neither fell onto the slick
smooth stones beneath
the glassy current?
Table Rock, we called it, flat and mossy
under a beech tree rose
up to meet yellowing leaves
to a silent song.
I helped you onto the stone
or perhaps you helped me
and we sat there
talking of fish
while the call of a lone wood thrush
made melody with the water.
For a time, we simply listened
because our ears wanted to
because our eyes needed to
and before we knew, color had disappeared
the warm October breeze had cooled,
and Venus was peeking out
from behind pale sunglow.
Not sure how we had gotten there
but knowing enough to follow the creek
I helped you
or you helped me
down from the rock
and we wandered back
under trees, over stones
only this time
And it all started with an apple.
Do you remember?
– © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine
For all of today’s Poetry Friday happenings, please visit The Poem Farm, where my friend Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is hosting the roundup. I also hope you’ll check out my review of the local state fair, where I work each Labor Day Weekend…between death-defying motorcycles and poop-emoji plush hats, it’s always a learning experience!
Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!
Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH a note requesting the signature and to whom I should make it out to. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)
- NY Public Library’s “100 Best Book for Kids 2017” AND “Staff Pick!”
- KIRKUS Starred review!
- Kansas NEA Reading Circle Recommended Books!
- “Best Reads of 2017,” Unleashing Readers
- Amazon “Best Books of the Month,” Sept. 2017
- Positive reviews from Horn Book, School Library Connection, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and Shelf-Awareness
Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!