Friday, February 17, 2012

The Frozen Pond

There were a lot of ponds in the area where I grew up, but this poem is about one particular pond ... on the property where my brothers and sisters lived at that time.

When I got to visit them (but that's another story), it was our favorite gathering place. I did my first fishing there. I went sledding down the hill and out onto the ice of that pond.

It was one of the first places I wanted to see when I came home on furlough after completing basic training.

Years later, during a visit back to Illinois, I drove out in that area to show my wife that pond. But the house was gone, the land was overgrown, and we didn't even get a glimpse of the pond.

For all I know, the pond may not even exist now, but it's very much alive in my memory. The poem was originally published in 
Capper's ... and I know, I know ... some of you have heard it before ... but it talks to me about a special place ... and I hope you won't mind.

The poem:


The pond was always home
for wayward leaves,
adding, in late summer,
the yellowed offerings
of the black walnut tree,
then the reds and golds
of maple and tulip trees,
like tiny boats lazing
among the ducks, twirling
at the tiniest stirrings
of air or water, remaining
trapped below the surface
when winter came, as though
waiting for us to come
thundering down the hill
on our sleds, out onto
the ice, that marvelous,
jeweled surface spinning
us around and around,
our laughter spilling out,
still echoing back.
© 1998

Today's word: echoing

1 comment:

Helen now in FL said...

Isn't it a strange and wonderful thing that something or someone lives on in our mind when it no longer exist at all. I can see my home town in Southern IL, and when I go back, I can get lost. The barn and the pond--the orchards and woods with Indian trails are vivid, but they no longer are there. I could see them in my mind's eye even if I were blind. You always bring out things that are true...well, almost true. Thanks! Helen

1 I see my home town in Southern IL in my mind, and when I go back it's easy to get lost there. South of town,there is no longer the spray pond and barn and Indian paths, but they are very real and I can see them in my mind, and yet, that's the only place they exist. My brothers and sister who knew them as well as I did no longer exist there, either. The ponds did exist where you talk about and still do in our mind's eye. Even if I were blind, I could see them. As always, you bring out things that truly exist...well, almost truly. Helen C.