A move from Oregon to Vermont (3,003 miles) has consumed much of my last five months. In June, it comes true. A blue house with a pond and mice in the walls. I haven't written much, but I've touched everything I own and evaluated it in some way, communed with it. Even my headless doll. For more of my poetry, triciaknoll.com
Why Would You Want To Move 3,003 Miles to Vermont?
Someone had to ask. So, many did.
From a place as perfect as Oregon.
Yes, I know about Lyme’s disease,
shots for dogs but not for people,
the yuck pinch-it blood-swell of ticks.
Cold clamps bitter, unrelenting, certain.
They say the state has four seasons: freezing
at the start, thaw to mud, then bugs,
and leaves that draw peepers up north
with their cars that clog the freeways.
Left coast to join lefties on the east side.
Feel the Bern. First state to legalize
gay marriage. The legislature says yes
to marijuana. First ski lift. Ethan Allen
had the gall to attack Montreal.
I know trees and woods. I’ve seen maple
in pipelines, creamees, bacon and cotton candy.
Let me sniff steam in the maple sugar shack.
Let me see the tom with his turkey harem
high-stepping over browned-out pasture.
Or hear the loons moan and trill up at Noyes Pond.
Watch the males offer red eyes to the girls.
As for sub-zero’s, I’ve got stoves,
fleeces, flannel, down, and duvets.
As snow tiptoes in on wind, awe
is rain turned to crystal. Rain to skate on.
I have nowhere I have to go, wrapped up
with poems of the palace women of China,
Rilke, Szymborska, a vast library lugged
from Stafford to Frost.
I can migrate from Tillamook
to Cabot cheese. I believe
in creatures of the deep, Champ.
I may shoo away the beavers
chewing down my peninsula.
Vermont is where my daughter is. The girl
who brought home the first deer of the season
while the men went up north to deer camp.
She tagged unblemished road kill,
freshest deer the butcher ever skinned.
The Value of a Home
Pinpointing what it’s worth, when
there’s a place where dog pee stained
the fir floor black, where someone
else’s child chiseled nonsense
on the inside of a closet door,
where your mutt scratched up
another door trying to get out
of the laundry room, our love
making by the fireplace, the
Christmas tree corner with green
lights, a deck where poetry flowed
into the woods, enough water
in the creek it might be crying.
Am I forgetting the spot
on the floral rug where we married?
Of course not, but in the midst of figuring
amenities (solar panels, a view to the woods,
rooms of light and the owl sounds at night),
come to mind cardboard under church awnings,
flapping tents in dry-wind camps,
but you knew I’d go there, didn’t you?
To the hives, caves, burrows,
shells, hollows, where they have to take you in
until time doesn’t want you anymore.
Some appraiser with a clipboard
demands you move on, go west,
or follow the food and only in dreams
can you go back and even then
everything has changed.
This poem is being featured in a juried multimedia exhibition called Migration Stories (in conjunction with World Refugee Day) at the Multnomah Art Center in Portland for the month of June.
© 2018 Tricia Knoll
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