Trying Again to Hold Back the Forest

poem #3

Hello! I hope everyone is navigating Delta OK. Today I’m posting two poems I wrote in April 2021. My friend and I have been writing poems together every April for thirteen consecutive years now, minus 2020 for obvious reasons. It’s a fun tradition. Hope you enjoy these two.


Trying Again to Hold Back the Forest  

Why aren’t more fairytales
set in the Northwest, where some people
have simply given up, let the plants
encroach upon their house, the moss
cover their roof, until they are a character,
like the man who hunted rats
in the field behind my parents’ house.
He lived a half-mile away, off a main road,
down a gravel path, in a small, worn white house,
among camellias, rhododendrons, and every kind of tree.
We can make bread from the knotweed,
my husband says. Maybe he and I are halfway there,
reluctant to mow, eating invasive species.
In the fairytale, maybe the child follows the man
into his forest, and he plants her headfirst,
and she turns into one of the many fruit trees.


Two Items I Had to Give Away

The first was what one guest
called a Clydesdale horse. It sat
in the hallway of my first apartment
I loved. A decade after leaving home,
I lived alone, and painted what I wanted
and decorated how I liked.
The piece of furniture, which I’d picked up
on Craigslist, was white. A kind of chest
that sat on four long, thick legs.
I gave it away when I moved states.
The other one, I might have kept. I think
about it every spring. A watering can,
a pleasant green with almost indecipherable
spots of black. Round with a long, curved
elegant spout. Everywhere I go
I look but haven’t found one yet.
My car was packed to the very brim,
I remind myself. But maybe I could have
placed it by my feet or on my lap.
I gave it to my landlady instead.
Maybe it still sits somewhere beautiful
though not with me. Maybe it brings
hope to someone else in their loneliness.


Thanks for reading! Next time I’ll discuss how working as a publishing professional HAS overlapped in a couple ways with my fiction writing/publishing, since I feel as though most of these newsletters have detailed how they haven’t overlapped.

Until then, please take care.

Rachel