Midlife nap in the forest
A shaded wood in afternoon,
all my labors through,
heat is a mosquito haze,
breathe the only breeze,
even leaves perspire
to leave their pollen musk.
Stretched between hackberry
trees my hammock swings
as I have shifted in a mid-nap yawn.
Gone are all youth’s inhibitions,
tempered, my college ambitions,
my natural inclinations,
at last, have come to full fruition.
To have sweat and worked the day,
dug the soil and cut the hay,
now I’ll study on a leaf of grass,
read Whitman and perhaps,
my nap will last til dusk,
and then I’ll roam while others
sleep, by moonlight I will weep,
my lady, for the lilac dress,
for this world torn in sure distress,
forbidden the caress which
would make us whole.
I am immense in passion
and in sorrow, but tomorrow
I will still be after that which
brings us laughter even if
the toll is paid in tears.
I’ll no more number fears
but live out these longest days
like they were numbered.
I’ll sound my yawp with courage raw
and act out unencumbered.
The gift of knowing who I am
is the greatest peace I’ve found.
I startle from my rest,
a mourning dove up in her nest,
does coo her hollow sound.
6 thoughts on "Midlife nap in the forest"
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“The gift of knowing who I am is the greatest peace I’ve found”
That might be my favorite line I’ve ever read in a poem. This was fantastic to read! Thank you so much for writing this!
Enjoyed the lyrical feel of this poem and all of the references to Whitman.
Enjoyed your use of stacking rhymes.
Beautiful images, beautiful language, wonderful poem, Scott
Knowing and accepting yourself does bring a person peace. This is the heart of the poem. The rhyming really adds to the pace and imagery of this poem. Love “midlife nap” !Well done!