Mountain song for my father

Spring sings through the green branches. It draws us out, a seed from the husk of a shell.

Here’s a poem I wrote around this time of the year in 1996:

The father carries, the daughter sings
the fairy noontide glaring gleams
a waterfall. The trip down tumbles
daisy on pink root legs. I do not
remember. I was two. But maybe maybe

a german mountain green with sister
Maria spinning on top. No: nutbrown trees
scraggle adolescent and birds sunny bloom.
They take turns lifting me over
poison ivy prowling beneath the leafbed.

Maybe the sky closed gray or rain
or maybe the waterfall — brilliant pale
clouds emptying into a Caribbean pool.
Birds swim fish and root worms. And
every sky is the waterfall I do not

remember. At the table newspaper scattered
my mother’s tropical water bottle, they
laugh, remember with crows’ feet. Remember
how she walked down but didn’t walk
up. “How your father carried you up

the mountains in Virginia.” Heaving chest
the brambles slash brownly. Beauty lost
in sweat’s wetlands. Biting blackfly. “And
as I carried you, you were making
songs about the birds and the trees

and the hikers passing into the vaults
of the waterfall we left baby-cooed
and called you a genius but I had
to carry you up the mountain. Yes,
I had to carry you up the mountain.”


About whitecatgrove

The musings of a Druid priestess, singer, poet and musician in Upstate New York.
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