for the days lost
behind stone walls and trees,
verdant, lonely, hidden in time

stones, cold, stand strong
weathering silent storms
leached in the walls echoing loud
the truth.

Fog came,
silenced the pain
of words thrown out in haste
lingering without consent and
lost hope.

of tears and sighs
slipped deeper in the night
until the doors opened once more
to sing.

A song
floated in fields
of wild bluebells, poppies,
and clover laid out a carpet—

. . .

I write poems for a stranger who will be born in some distant country
hundreds of years from now.
—Mary Oliver

National Poetry Month offers a wealth of prompts, challenges, and access to new poets and poems. Two prompts spawned today’s work. Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo first-day prompt on book covers and Alex Price’s daily cinquains.

A childhood friend gifted me a copy of A.E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad in 1965 and included this inscription:

Book cover of A Shropshire Lad by A.E. Housman. The cover is a muted orange with a drawing of hills, fields, a cottage, and a bridge over a stream.

Because you love poetry—
Because you love life &
Show it—
. . .
May each line give you joy . . .

The diminutive book and illustrated cover, and of course, the poetry, have traveled with me across the years. Without warning, a tug of the heart will compel me to find the little book with the country hills and cottage. 

The book, the words, and the friend come rushing back with memories of a time past—I will never let go.

pink red buds blossom on a single branch with blue sky and limbs in the background. Text: Poetry centers the heart. by Kathryn LeRoy

. . .

And always—

Be kind. Be brave. Be you.

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Photo:  Cotswold Cottage © Kathryn LeRoy