The Filing Cabinet. And a Poem

What began in fellowship of open arms, broad smiles and welcoming words soon fell into routine. The wonder of the inchworm’s humped-back crawl faded as attention drifted elsewhere. Like a prairie dog village, heads sank into oblivious existence as curiosity waned.
I could not describe the Bavarian village, framed by towering Alpine mountains and last seen as a child, well-enough so you’d know it were you there. But the wonder remains as deeply imprinted today as on that seven-year old’s soul.
Susanna’s soul left this world thirty-nine years ago but she remains within reach, though just out of touch.
Thrilled by the primeval forest and the bubbling, babbling brook with its ancient, polished stones, the cold, clear water swirling around my ankles, the tickle of minnows nibbling my toes, snow-capped peaks soaring deep into my imagination, and the laughter of a family picnic, I knew as a four-year old that I would always be in love with the forest and her mysteries.
I could have been no more than four-years old when first thrilled by the star-filled heavens and beyond. I’ve refreshed that thrill many times with Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov.
The first song I recall is “Downtown” by Petula Clark. Her song remains as fresh today as that of the sparrow I killed with my bb gun when I was ten years old.
Downtown Tampa was alien to me though Tampa is where I grew up. I lived in the suburbs to the north and rarely had cause to venture to the crowded, distant city I call home.
I ventured into downtown Brunswick, Maine often while stationed at the nearby naval air station. In summer, I bought hotdogs from sidewalk vendors and ate them while people-watching in the village park. I ice-skated there in winter. I read poetry while sitting in the bandstand gazebo. My ashes will be spread in Maine someday.
My first poem spilled from my soul when I was fifteen, two years before I joined the Navy. I have carried it with me all these years.

Whisper wisp, O
Soft and lithe, so
Fragile, frail, a
Sense, a
Fleet, fly, O
Whither gone? But,
Always away, a
Day, a
Image: Brunswick Downtown Association
Photos by The Tiffany Studio

12 thoughts on “The Filing Cabinet. And a Poem

  1. Damn, your writing, Will… “Thrilled by…her mysteries” hit me with the sudden enthusiasm of my rap-fan students after a good dis line or mic drop moment. I’m reading everything you ever wrote… (AFTER I read and post these 300 student-writing pieces in my lap…)


  2. Haha 🙂 My ego is held in check by the knowledge that you’ll find some cringe-worthy writing in my past. Can’t wait top read those student pieces. Are your students urban, suburban, rural?


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