Back At It

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Returning from long travels, there are many ways in the last three weeks that I’ve thought about being back at it.  Back at my desk, writing.  Back in the yard and garden, pulling out wasted plants and tidying the beds.  Back in the car, going to visit with family and friends. Back on familiar streets and dirt roads as I continue training for the NYC marathon.

And back to the always surprising beauty of autumn in New Hampshire because the trees are back at it too.  My favorite is running down a road transformed into a tunnel of color by the crowns of trees, yellow and orange and red, leaves knocked loose by wind showering down around me.  Even though I know this pocket of glory means the trees will soon be bare and I’ll be back in a gray world, with little light and color, I relish it while it’s here.  Maybe even more so because I know it’s passing on.

Here’s a poem from 15 years ago, which makes it clear I really am back at something I’ve written about before.

Center

The bluejays are busy
in the diminished sunflowers,
flopping over bent heads,
flapping as they gorge
on blisters of seed. Crows

cross the yard, ceaseless
feeders. Cricket shrill
encases the globe of air
where we sit, trees
in their revised colors

ringing this kernel
of glory. We stay still
for many moments, daring
to let time pass, to let
what unfolds also uncrease.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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