Whole Again


Brattleboro Vermont, October 2022

This picture is one of many I took trying to capture the essence of my surroundings in Vermont. The exquisiteness of the trees startled me, cradled me, and brought me back to myself. Poet, Barbara Crooker, writes about the lessons of trees in this poem.


Sometimes, I am Startled Out of Myself,


like this morning, when the wild geese came squawking,

flapping their rusty hinges, and something about their trek

across the sky made me think about my life, the places

of brokenness, the places of sorrow, the places where grief

has strung me out to dry. And then the geese come calling,

the leader falling back when tired, another taking her place.

Hope is borne on wings. Look at the trees. They turn to gold

for a brief while, then lose it all each November.

Through the cold months, they stand, take the worst

weather has to offer. And still, they put out shy green leaves

come April, come May. The geese glide over the cornfields,

land on the pond with its sedges and reeds.

You do not have to be wise. Even a goose knows how to find

shelter, where the corn still lies in the stubble and dried stalks.

All we do is pass through here, the best way we can.

They stitch up the sky, and it is whole again.