What tracks have I left?

A beautiful poem was on The Writer’s Almanac for Sunday, March 16, 2008.  it is written by Marge Piercy and is called “Tracks”.  It is published in The Crooked Inheritance, publisher – Alfred A Knopf, 2006.  I had it all ready to paste here and then thought better of it considering copyright laws.  Here is the link to this edition of The Writer’s Almanac:  http://www.elabs7.com/c.html?rtr=on&s=fj6,8whp,dv,bdmy,gg6t,gmsw,i7ij

Please have a listen.  It begins with a description of the tracks the birds have left in the snow and goes on to consider what tracks the author has left for the creatures and people around her.

This poem would be a wonderful springboard for anyone’s writing, especially mine.  Even if I don’t get around to using it for direct inspiration, it is just a lovely, lovely warm evocative piece.  Ahhhhhhhh.

On second thought, the e-mail from The Writer’s Almanac suggests that I forward it to a friend so. . .

My friend, I’m forwarding this poem to you:

Poem: “Tracks” by Marge Piercy from The Crooked Inheritance. © Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)


The small birds leave cuneiform
messages on the snow: I have
been here, I am hungry, I
must eat. Where I dropped
seeds they scrape down
to pine needles and frozen sand.

Sometimes when snow flickers
past the windows, muffles trees
and bushes, buries the path,
the jays come knocking with their beaks
on my bedroom window:
to them I am made of seeds.

To the cats I am mother and lover,
lap and toy, cook and cleaner.
To the coyotes I am chaser and shouter.
To the crows, watcher, protector.
To the possums, the foxes, the skunks,
a shadow passing, a moment’s wind.

I was bad watchful mommy to one man.
To another I was forgiving sister
whose hand poured out honey and aloe;
to that woman I was a gale whose lashing
waves threatened her foundation; to this
one, an oak to her flowering vine.

I have worn the faces, the masks
of hieroglyphs, gods and demons,
bat-faced ghosts, sibyls and thieves,
lover, loser, red rose and ragweed,
these are the tracks I have left
on the white crust of time.

Published in: on March 16, 2008 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

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