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Sunday, March 05, 2017


by Laura Rodley

For you, my grandchildren,
I am saving pine needles in the forest.
For you, my grandchildren
I am hanging up my clothes, saving energy.
For you, my grandchildren,
I am walking the hot sand at East Sandwich.
not flying using fossil fuel, not expanding beyond.
For you my grandchildren,
I am weaving the leafy fronds at Ashfield Lake,
swimming in it, swimming prayers.
For you, my grandchildren,
I drive as little as possible,
work as expeditiously as I can, conserve.
For you, my grandchildren,
I hold my hands over the cool breath
of the snow, so blue, so crisp, so cold,
so I can pat your cheeks with the snow’s breath,
so you can remember the feeling of snow.
For you, my grandchildren, I pray
for the earth’s forgiveness for walking
on her surface, how she holds me suspended
in this time, so close to your future.
For you, I wear sweaters, and burn less oil, no wood,
and send my emissary ghost to Standing Rock.
For you, my grandchildren,
I keep watch for the barred owls that rest
on the hemlocks in our yard.
I’m remembering it all for you:
their wide wingspan, their dark eyes
that hold the future of the long dark night, infinity,
and I tell you this, my grandchildren,
I chose not to be afraid, because I am remembering,
I am remembering all of this to give to you:
the cold breath of the snow, the people
at Standing Rock, the tall hemlocks, the green water
of Ashfield Lake, I am giving you the coldness
to hold onto when the sun bears down
and Massachusetts gets hotter,
I am giving you forests full of hemlocks, ash trees,
beech, canopies of leaves to walk under;
I am giving you the shelter of pines;
this is what I am handing down to you, my legacy.

Laura Rodley's NVN poem “Resurrection” won a Pushcart Prlze and was published in the 2013 edition of the anthology. She was nominated twice before for the Prize as well as for Best of the Net. Her chapbook Rappelling Blue Light, a Mass Book Award nominee, won honorable mention for the New England Poetry Society Jean Pedrick Award. Her second chapbook Your Left Front Wheel is Coming Loose was also nominated for a Mass Book Award and a L.L.Winship/Penn New England Award. Both were published by Finishing Line Press.  Co-curator of the Collected Poets Series, she teaches creative writing and works as contributing writer and photographer for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.  She edited As You Write It, A Franklin County Anthology, Volume I and Volume II.