By Peter T. Cavallaro
I took my kid on a hike today
in the woods
so he might start to know the world.
So much to learn at four, when Nature
is effortlessly wonder-full.
No, don’t pick up
that bird feather (where did I put the hand sanitizer?)
Come over here, hold still.
What a way to exist: supposing that boulders
are giants’ pillows!
I am letting him lead, so obviously
we immediately go off-trail – because,
why would anyone use a trail?
(Never mind that said trail is
by my tax dollars.)
Tossing hunks of granite down the slope
and out of sight? – I guess because,
who doesn’t find that riveting?
(Tort liability . . . ? My mind briefly dashes
to an exiled self.)
For the record, I don’t understand the impulse
to stomp a puddle, but I am willing to concede
that I may be overlooking some angle.
No, don’t step in –
suffice to say,
I would not have worn my new pair if I’d known
we were doing mud.
That’s a good point, by the way: I never noticed
how the reeds seem to dance.
Yes, child, of course birds have ears. (Wait, do they? No service.
I mean, they must have ears, right?)
Now, just to clarify: you’re going to reach into the abyss
of that stump
expressing the wish of finding a snake?
Phew, merely – auburn and chirping – a frog (more hand sanitizer).
It’s really quite a thing, you know,
to see things most clearly
from the bramble
and find anchorage in enigma;
to discover the path only upon losing the trail.
Because, as told, today through charmed woods
my kid took me wandering
and conferred the world.
Peter T. Cavallaro is a writer, poet, attorney, adventurer, theologian and nature photographer whose poetry has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Bluebird Word, Ekstasis Magazine and Solid Food Press. He lives in New York.