Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 21 . . .

Early March Walking Meditation

     by Mary Campbell

It’s forty-five degrees outside today,

the twelfth of March; the sky’s a patchy gray,

the wind is brisk and from the north — it picks

up bits of ragged leaves that spent the winter

under snow, which melted in

unseasonable warmth on Tuesday, I

believe. It’s cozy here; I do not want

to go; the birds have not returned from where

birds go in autumn, though the tips of crocuses

are visible along my route — four city

blocks downhill, four city blocks uphill

again. I’d ride my bicycle, but then

I wouldn’t feel the solid ground beneath

my feet. I like to walk deliberately and think

of how I never worry, when I roll

from heel to toe, from heel to toe again,

that, this step or the next, the earth might not

be where it ought to be and plunge me into

the abyss. It can be trusted, usually,

to hold me up. And so I venture down

the hill — intent on my dependence, never

(hardly ever) doubting gravity and yet

defying gravity each chance I get.


Mary Campbell is the author or coauthor of five books and the ghostwriter or editor of dozens more. She attended Stanford University as a music major and graduated from the University of Arizona, where she earned a BA in English and music. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the American Ballroom Theater’s Dancing Classrooms program popularized in the feature films Mad Hot Ballroom and Take the Lead. The mother of three and grandmother of ten lives and works in a well-loved 130-year-old Victorian house in Omaha, NE.


© 2011 Mary Campbell