Poem for Visiting Walden Pond in 2016

We leave the crowded, paid lot

and migrate with others

in their assorted  groups,

speaking assorted tongues,

across a highway

and down to a rocky beach

where a few are swimming,

even in October.


Our daughter’s favorite thing

the whole day

is this beach:

she clutches stones in her hand

feeling their heft,

she kicks her feet back and forth in the sand,

creating half sand-angels as she sits,

and she holds up leaves, sticks, and stones

to see if they will make a sound

when joined by her hands.


We join a path around the pond,

and pass people in both directions.

How strange it is,

and I’m sure I’m not the first to mark it,

that so many gather here

with family, friends, cameras

to see a place famous

for solitary communion.

There were moments of that quiet.

People gazed upon the granite markers

of Thoreau’s invisible cabin,

and read the words of his placed

here and there.

And there are places to see a cormorant,

close up and unconcerned,

used to the pilgrims who visit.

And there are moments when we look through the tree trunks

and see only the pond in the sunlight.


Resuming our walk on the path,

I press my palm against tree trunks

and feel their bark, individual,

full of life.  Our little one fusses,

and I sit on a stone

and breastfeed her in a moment

both private and not private.


We bring her to the beach,

once more before we go,

and she concentrates,



and improvises

with nature’s bits and pieces.


We breathe the scent of the pine needles in.

We feel the sun on our faces.

We change our daughter’s diaper

in the trunk of the hatchback,

and drive home.

4 thoughts on “Poem for Visiting Walden Pond in 2016

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