Featured Poet: Roberta Visser, Swanzey
Roberta Visser leads poetry workshops for elementary through high school students in libraries, after-school programs, and through college continuing education courses.
Most recently her poems have been published in The Worcester Review, Entelechy International, Late Blooms Poetry Postcard Series, and damselfly press. She has also been a contributing writer for the Monadnock Living page of the daily Keene Sentinel. She is the author of a chapbook titled, Listen to Me, and a second chapbook, birds are calling, Elov! Elov! from which this poem is taken.
It’s as if there is sinuous fiber, much like an umbilical cord, that attaches me to my grandson, daughter and mother. The poem describes, if I could have my wish, the secure and calm scenes I would layout for my grandson in which to live his life. Yet there is a larger circle of family – all the children, including my son, nephews and their young – to whom I have a responsibility. That is, I must pass on the legacy of my grandparents who brought to this country the ways of the culture from which they came, and the spiritual traditions passed to them over generations.
for my grandson
What I wish for you is time
to sit in the light of the kitchen and your mother
moving around talking to you,
to be lulled by guppy waves lapping against the rowboat
while the sun reflects itself in placid patches of water, and shadows
a swath of pointed pines on the edge of the shore.
Sitting here, I remember my mother saying, I just want to sit, quiet.
Like her, I want to take time in sunlight, in silence,
to watch birds flit rapidly from branch to branch, calling out
for reasons I do not know, while clumps of snow fall
from pine bough and hemlock branch to make their own prints
as prominent as those of the night feeding deer.
Sitting here, I can feel my heart beating
aware that I am for you, the repository of memory,
I, a sometimes shepherd of my children,
in the larger sphere of nephews and their children,
all of us like stars splayed in the Milky Way,
bound by the desire to keep traveling together.