Poem no.21: This Page

Poem no.21: This Page

No boundaries mark this open page.
Yet on the broad-horizoned land,
Fields, mended hedges, broken walls
Mark exactly where I may not go.

A page – this page – is open to the sky.

Times past, on snowy winter days
Three small girls
Slid, shrieking, down a frosted hill.
Boundaries were a whispered dare.
A looming thrill.
Only a final curve – a tipping point
Moments before disaster–
Drove us deep into the snow
Not pinioned on leafless briars
Behind the cold barbed wire.

We raced through crop-filled summer fields,
Picked raspberries and blackberries,
Sweetening our lips and nights
Tasting summer and autumn on our tongue.

Only in adolescence
Did we then find ourselves
Drawn to the edge of things;
Moving towards the boundaries of the day.

Hold the book. Open the page.
This page – this page – is open to the sky.

© Anne McMaster 2016

10 thoughts on “Poem no.21: This Page

  1. Thank you! I read a lot of Robert Frost (especially the rurally-oriented work) and love “Wall.” I’m also fascinated by how folk – at any edge – can be drawn out onto the edge of things: I think it’s a sad indictment of our modern age that people can become isolated so quickly.

  2. I too am a fan of detail that creates the visual and emotional landscape, only your rhythm and pacing is far more gentle, far more—well, poetic. I read poets like you to move me toward that gentle poetic prose craftsmanship. I can recognize it, even teach it, but cannot always execute it. Beautiful poem–and agree with the other comment about the wrapping of first and last line.

  3. I’m truly touched by what you have written – and (I promise I’m not being cute here) I’m gobsmacked at being called a poet. I’ve always considered myself as a ‘kind of’ writer (something I worked quietly on in my own time) who dabbled in poetry. I’ve spent half a lifetime teaching teenagers to create and write and make poetry and plays…and this marathon has been my first experience of being subsumed in poetry after retiring early from college to write full-time. You’ve give me a huge amount of confidence with your really generous comments – thank you!

    1. Martina – thank you! I’m c**p at drawing and art but I’m visual, so I’ve taught myself to try and trap in words what I see. I live on an old family farm where my sisters and I grew up and so there are memories everywhere. The ghosts of those little girls remain here still 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for this feedback! I live on the old farm where I grew up with my two sisters and I’m lucky to have a good memory! My father was a farmer, so every season had its tasks – and we were involved. Being at the farm – and walking through the fields that my father worked – brings me the same sense of freedom and happiness as sitting at a blank computer screen or opening a new journal to write in. My sisters are married and living far from the farm – and I lived in the US for 5 years before returning here – but the ghosts of those little girls follow me still 🙂

  4. For me the fun is your refusal within the poem to be bound by easy transitions of time or place, and your surge of glorious fun, the challenge to stretch with you and,well, inhabit the blank page and beyond with black, ordered markings that turn to color and action.

    1. I find when I write about the farm where I grew up, Paul, the sense of time is elastic: I travel from the present to the past as the past is all around me. I love writing – I love the freedom that it gives me – and I love the memories that surround me here. I have learned to be grateful for those.

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