Walden Walk
by Corinne H. Smith

       Written after the silent memorial walk during The Thoreau Society Annual Gathering of 2015.
       With all due respects to Lord Byron, who provided an inspiring first line and a firm rhyme scheme;
            and yet, he never made it to Concord.

Photo by Alan Rohwer from 2014 Memorial Walk

We walk in silence 'round the rim
Of this fair pond, this glacial lake,
Just as the morning rays begin
To jostle other folks awake;
And places where Thoreau had been
Are measured by each step we take.

We keep the water on our right
As Pradakshina bids us to.
We marvel at the play of light:
The Walden green, the Walden blue;
And think of Thoreauís line of sight
As his small cove comes into view.

Although we honor those now gone,
We canít help seeing ones still here:
The chickadees and jays sing on
From limbs above us, spreading cheer,
While chipmunks scurry at the dawn,
Across faint tracks of white-tailed deer.

The woods are filled with oaks and pines,
And hemlocks guard the southern span.
We pick up cones and stones designed
To join the cairn, as if by plan;
For history has deemed it a shrine
To Nature and not just one man.

This hallowed ground on which we meet
Was once the site of his homestead.
We pause and nod, and then retreat,
Hoping to spot an arrowhead;
And trust the heaven at our feet
Is somehow also overhead.

© 2015  Corinne H. Smith

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