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Life on the Deckle Edge



Hellooo, Progressive Poem Pilgrims! 


It's my honor to host the Kidlit Progressive Poem 2020 here today and to contribute a line.  Well, technically, two lines for the next writer to choose from.  More on that in a sec.


The amazing Irene Latham began this adventure and organized it every April for years.  When she could look on the 2020 horizon, though, she realized she had 142 books coming out this year, many in the Spring.  (Okay... slight exaggeration.  But not much.) Anyway, Irene looked around for someone to pass the baton to, and who should come around a bayou bend but the ever-talented and also amazing Margaret Simon!  Thanks to both of you ladies for making the Progressive Poem a beloved addition to National Poetry Month.  


This year, Donna up in Maine started us off, and whoa - did she ever.  She didn't simply give us a first line - oh no, no, no.  She conjured up TWO lines for the Day 2 writer to choose from! Subsequent participants could not resist this kind of fun, so this year, it's a Progressive Poem with "Choose Your Own" sauce on top!


Here we are in the final few days, and I must say, I love how lyrical this year's sequential masterpiece is.  You can see for yourself below, with the two lines I had to choose from in bold at the bottom of the full poem. (Note - Yesterday was Dani Burtsfield's turn at Doing the Work That Matters . Alas, some technical glitches up and got loose and ruined her plans, so Margaret paddled over and helped keep everything afloat.  Thanks, Maragaret and Dani!)  From here, the poem will go to Jessica Bigi. 




Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake.
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes
and a banjo passed down from my gram.

I follow the tracks of deer and raccoon
and echo the call of a wandering loon.
A whispering breeze joins in our song
and night melts into a rose gold dawn.

Deep into nature's embrace, I fold.
Promise of spring helps shake the cold.
Hints of sun lightly dapple the trees
calling out the sleepy bees.

Leaf-litter crackles…I pause. Twig snaps.
I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.

We freeze. My green eyes and her brown
Meet and lock. Time slows down.
I scatter the cakes, backing away
Safely exiting this strange ballet.


I continue the path that winds down to the lake.
Missing my breakfast for beauty's sake.
But wait, what's that delicious smell?
Something familiar, I know so well.


It's a campfire. I follow my nose. I see


a circle of friends waving at me.


the very place I'm meant to be.


--- Two terrific options, right? I pondered all day.  My first impulse was the second line, as it just seemed to fit the tone of the poem and lended itself to more intimacy, I thought.  It personally felt more comfortable to my need-my-space self. But (said the little poetry muse on my other shoulder) - everybody has been isolating for weeks now, and the hunger for gathering in a group of more than two people in real space and not via a screen is a very strong pull!


So, I WILL pick that circle of friends, but I'll let Jessica decide whether to join them or to meander on.   Here's that stanza with the chosen line and with two options from me: 


It's a campfire. I follow my nose. I see

a circle of friends waving at me.


OPTION 1: I free up my banjo, quicken my pace


OPTION 2: I offer a wave but keep to my plan


Take it away, Jessica!  NOTE:  You'll find Jessica's post tomorrow at this link at Donna's place, Mainely Write. (And if you want to see the complete schedule with hyperlinks, you can see the list Donna posted on the first day here.  I have the list over in my sidebar, but since I'd have to add each link separately instead of copy and paste code, I just flat didn't get around to it.)


Keep safe and well and wrapped up in poetry.  Our collabortive poem has been a refreshing journey!

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