Fall 2012 • Vol. XXXIV No. 4 Poetry |

When I Was Thoreau at Night

I covered my head so as to better hide from men and see the moon, with whom I carried on a conversation that illuminated like lantern-swing, iterating and reiterating trees. I asked What is my wild original? The moon said You dream me. Underfoot, aromatic crush. I said I marry you. The moon said You cannot husband me. Overhead, darkness circuited through its diamond guides. If I were lonely, I loved loneliness. If I were hungry, I ate battered apples. One star said Pilgrim. One star said Peregrine. Peregrine. The name of the first English child born in the brackish New World. How I envied him, crying into the wilderness with a name that means wanderer. My name seemed tame. How I hoped the farmers would not find me in this woods, wearing this dress. I asked the stars Will you be my jewelry? The stars said Follow us. They drew me deep into the disheveled spruces to introduce myself to loss. My fields were ill. They weren't my fields. My trees were being kill

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Cecily Parks is the author of the chapbook Cold Work (Poetry Society of America, 2005) and the collection Field Folly Snow (University of Georgia Press, 2008), which was a finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award and the Glasgow / Shenandoah Emerging Writers Prize. In 2011 she earned a PhD in English from the CUNY Graduate Center, where she wrote a dissertation on American women writers and swamps. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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I covered my head so as to better hide from men and see the moon, with whom I carried on a conversation that illuminated like lantern-swing, iterating and reiterating trees. […]

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