Disguised as a Child (for Deborah)


down slippery banks to catch the minnows

unaware, ignoring stones I splash through shallows.

Mud coats my sneakers, climbs

my pants legs to the knees. I'm

not afraid to crawl.


the wild raspberry thickets

discover 19 different kinds of moss,

examine each one carefully before I place

it back in someone else's space.

Next time I might 

come back, see how they like

their brand new neighborhoods. I might not,

a locust tree wants climbing, here's a big rock

I'll turn over, see what's underneath,

3 chunks of sandstone have sharp edges that need

carving 'cause I have a penknife


lilies of the valley slide out from their leafy

hiding places, show themselves to me,

and when I'm crawling low I see

the way trees do. The truth of trees

is that their heads aren't in the sky.

Their leaves are on their feet, eyes

down close to the ground where

everything is happening. Their

roots have tongues and I hear maples

laughing from the squirrels

playing tag around their toes.

--Margo Solod