after Walden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau
Christmastime and cold, I went to the woods
to escape twinkling lights, because I wished
to see stars and cry, to live
where if I did not build the fire, I might die, deliberately
recalling family dinners and to front
at fifty-five I was an orphan. Only the essential
journal, tiny tent, and coffee, facts of life
which easily fit into my pack and see
if words would come, if I could not learn
to catch my dinner and sleep alone—what it had to teach
of rising and paw prints and changing light and not
the frantic filling of my barrel, so when I came to die discover
something sufficient, unknown if I had not lived.
Alan Gann, a teaching artist-poet, tutors and facilitates writing workshops at Texans Can Academy. He is the author of one volume of poetry, Adventures of the Clumsy Juggler (Inkbrush Press, 2014), and DaVerse Works, a performance poetry curriculum (Big Thought, 2013). Alan is a multiple Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee.