This National Poetry Month, for the fourth year in a row, I entered a poem in the Barton Reese Pogue Poetry and Arts Festival original poetry competition. The past three years, I was not an award winner, but I was quite thrilled when this year, I placed second. Fun! The past three years, I’ve entered poems that were lyrical or free verse, but this year, I decided to be more “traditionally poetic.” I thought I’d follow the style of a favorite poet of mine, Emily Dickinson and use rhyme and a sing-song type of lyrical feel.
The theme for this year’s competition was “The Great Outdoors.” I decided to take a different stint on this theme, telling a story of the effect a step outside had on a newborn in our home… I’ll let the poem tell the story. Before I share the poem below, I will share that I owe my husband and daughters huge kudos for helping me to physically be there and be a part of this competition today. Ideally, I wish I didn’t have to slowly make my way to a front podium using a walker, but we made it work. And though winning would be lovely, I knew how tough it would have been for me to make it up to the stage to recite it at the front… the winning piece was absolutely lovely, and I was thrilled for her! I was shocked that after three years of nothing, I actually placed, and that was more than I certainly expected. But without further ado, here we go:
The Magic Door
by Angie Knight ( a true story – April-June 1999)
The time was close – six weeks to go,
spring was on its way.
Mommy waited patiently and
treasured every day.
Her favorite season brought new life
to tired, faded trees,
while she and Daddy took a walk
to feel the April breeze.
Soon they would come, two little ones
who waited now to see
the lovely world that would be home
for Babies A and B.
But then the doctor put the brakes
on time for work and play,
“Lay and rest, this will be best,
and soon will come their day.”
Six long weeks, they plodded by,
with Mommy longing for
a moment to just take a step
out through the wooden door.
She’d missed the daffodils, the scents
when spring was in the air,
the Great Outdoors were calling,
but she couldn’t visit there.
The day, it came, the babies joined
the world, first A then B.
They stretched and cried and lay in beds
for everyone to see.
Two days later, home they came
and all could hear them cry.
Eating helped and swings were nice,
but everything they’d try
to calm the smaller baby failed –
not song, not bounce or whirl.
The tired mom was wondering,
so holding Baby Girl,
she opened up that wooden door
and let the infant see
the outside world –
then something seemed to happen magic-ly.
Her eyes were new, but what she saw
brought silence to the place.
The spell she felt, the Great Outdoors,
the fresh, green quiet space.
In days to come, the parents found
the “magic door” still reigned:
quiet overtook the child
and peacefulness remained
each time they took a step outside
to venture out and see
“The Great Outdoors,” a view of life
that helped her to feel free.
p.s. I’ll share a poem next week that I think those with “invisible issues” will enjoy. It is a fun description of walking without falling… stay tuned!