Explore

The main trails are
marked with wide paths
of pine needles
and warnings
on trespassing.
Most just walk
along the road here.
But there are other trails
you might miss,
if you weren’t looking for them.
Thin trails, where the greens
continue to grow knee-high,
salal and ferns.
Fallen branches
tangle with the arch
of younger alder trees
and dogwood.
There’s a tunnel,
the shadow of a deer
with its long legs through the brush
and head easing under the arch.
If I took one of those trails,
climbing through the brush
and the fallen branches,
ducking at the arches,
where would I find you?
Which one of us would turn around first?

~ Megan M. Codera

Getting Out

I remember all the rooms
where we stayed
in Mexico,
but I don’t remember
sleeping
in any of them.
They were just a place
to leave our things.
In Oaxaca, with the tall doors and thin walls,
I fought a fever on thin sheets,
but still made it to the market
and a show in a crumbling theater.
In Taxco, we had a courtyard on the roof,
just outside of our room with high ceilings
and no glass panes on the high windows.
We got pizza and beer that first night
while the town erupted with a festival in the streets
for El Dia de la Madre.
And in the hostel in Mexico City,
two sets of bunk beds crammed in the corners
of a room at the end of the hall
and you tried to teach me to Salsa
on the dirty linoleum floor.
It is strange to say we stayed in those rooms,
in those places so far from our cities and our lives.
The things we found could never have been
seen in those rooms.
We had to open the tall doors
and walk the narrow, crooked streets.

~ Megan M. Codera

All We Do Not Know

I have with me
all that I do not know
I have lost none of it
 – W.S. Merwin
    From “The Nomad Flute”

The sea of things
we do not know
churns slowly
in each of us.
Some may try
to ease the weight
by sharing
all they know
with anyone they know.
Some devour field guides
and listen to NPR
so they can sound
as if they know.
And then some
take sips
of only the things
of interest,
sharing bits
when it fits.
But there is no way
to ever lose
this bag
of things we do not know.
No need to analyze it,
empty it,
or ignore it.
Nothing we name
will ever be
just that.
Not even the rain.

~ Megan M. Codera

*NaPoWriMo poem prompt for Day 25: take a line from a poem to inspire a new poem.

Sunday

Even the house can feel
the simmering approach
of another week.

I walk early,
stuffing one ear with stories
and leaving the other open
for birdsong.
The tops of the trees
knock together in the wind.

The morning fades
into thumps and piles
of laundry.
We give equal attention
to the couch and the dishes,
with mild motivation.
I make grocery lists
to confirm all that
can wait
another day.

The cavern of the afternoon
is accented
with sullen homework inquiries
and the festering drip of the faucet.

We are all trying to do
as much of nothing
as possible,
while still
being productive.

And eventually,
the savory evening
succumbs to the light.

~ Megan M. Codera

Expectations 

None of this is quite as we expected,
yet we cannot resist the urge to wonder
how tomorrow may hatch something unprotected,
and what was taken from today, we ponder.
You once thought you knew who you’d follow.
You once thought you knew how to succeed.
But given extra time, you just walk about and wallow,
searching between land and sky for the need.
All of this is out of your control now –
there’s no chance of stopping the rain.
You can change your dress and take a bow,
but you’re still on in the next refrain.
Is this anywhere near where you thought you would be
when you jumped ship and floated to sea?

~ Megan M. Codera

*NaPoWriMo poem prompt for Day 23: the sonnet.