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Learning the Way
by
Kay N. Sanders


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Last day of summer break
      before school starts, a friend
            helps me measure, mark, and mow
 
a path into the backyard grass,
      circle within circle that turns
            and wends its way to the center,
 
a non-linear labyrinth pattern. 
      No dead ends, no path not taken,
            no losing the way. The way in 
 
is the way out. I walk it often,
      in slow and meditative mood,
            watching, listening, learning
 
step by step my own backyard.
      And then one day, Tess arrives.
            Tess, age eight, with her wide,
 
round eyes. She leaps onto the path,
      races to the center and back again,
            trailing laughter like a handful
 
of leaves thrown to the wind.
      She calls, a bell-clear tone,
            come and run. For once
 
I don’t stop to contemplate,
      just take off my shoes, feel
            the grass ripple in the wake. 
 
 
© by Kay N. Sanders.
Used with the author’s permission.
 

 
 
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Kay N. Sanders, a native Southerner who now lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, grew up hearing her mother and maternal aunts recite poetry, sing songs, argue, tell stories, quote scripture and even cuss, now and then. How could she not become a poet? She married a Connecticut Yankee and has made Wisconsin her home since 1965. Kay has worked in a variety of positions, including substitute teaching, which she says "hones a person to pay attention--in case raising five children didn't." Her chapbook, That Red Dirt Road, was published by Parallel Press in May of 2010; a second poetry manuscript, "Traveling Light," is in progress.


Post New Comment:
tiddles:
As school begins, this poem made me think about the different ways children learn. Some take the slow, contemplative route, observing and cataloguing information all the way to the answers, the conclusions. Others wave their hands from the back row, jump up to answer quickly, assuredly. Whichever the method, you are right, Kay: "the way in is the way out." Will think about this poem again and again. Marilyn Zelke Windau
Posted 09/03/2012 08:18 AM
onionbird:
Laughing, running, wellsprings of our lives. Thanks Tess. Thanks Kay.
Posted 09/01/2012 06:04 AM
Maryann Hurtt:
Love how your poem calms me and makes me laugh.
Posted 08/31/2012 08:17 PM
Larry Schug:
I am very partial to a layrinth at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. Labyrinths are full of poems, I think. Good one!
Posted 08/31/2012 03:15 PM
Larry Schug:
I am very partial to a layrinth at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. Labyrinths are full of poems, I think. Good one!
Posted 08/31/2012 03:15 PM
pwax:
Very nice, Kay. Phyllis
Posted 08/31/2012 02:41 PM
Jo:
Kay, this poem and the labyrinth you made and walk filled me with peace--and with delight. Exactly what I needed this morning. Thank you.
Posted 08/31/2012 11:23 AM
paula:
What a good reminder to love the day!
Posted 08/31/2012 10:27 AM
Janet Leahy:
Love your description of Tess and her trailing laughter. Beautiful poem. Thanks, Kay
Posted 08/31/2012 09:59 AM
wordsmith:
Wonderful, Kay! Cheers and hugs, Mandi
Posted 08/31/2012 09:54 AM
mimi:
beautiful! poem and labyrinth too--thanks...
Posted 08/31/2012 07:47 AM
Charly:
Wonderful Kay!
Posted 08/31/2012 07:40 AM
69Dorcas:
Lovely reflection of past school years. I guess I looked forward to running back to school too. Now I am happy to be retired. It was a long time ago. Thanks.
Posted 08/31/2012 07:00 AM
LisaV:
Nice poem, Kay! Beautiful labyrinth, too!
Posted 08/31/2012 06:47 AM


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