The Girl Who Went Adventuring

The girl who went adventuring
Picked up her heart one day
Where she had stored it in the pantry
And placed it in her pocket.

Out by the river she floats
Through the bluebells marveling,
Spicebush, sassafras, vaguely
Thinking, “Have I ever seen a paw paw?”

No matter. So many thorns to catch
On her clothing, so many sticks
To dig at the fabric of her dress—
Hands, pulling her back. Oh no,

She will not be held! She moves on,
Beneath sycamores sweeping,
An infinity of blue sky beyond.
How is it empty pockets now bulge,

Filled with interesting stones? When
Did her feet became muddy,
Her ankles scratched and weeping
With cuts? But she notices none of

These things, notices nothing, save
The sparkling sunlight on the
Shenandoah, the osprey’s great wings
Spanning bank to bank, the

Delicate shadows beneath the ivy,
And the miraculous sound of traffic
Far in the distance, where she knows life
Proceeds, whenever she someday returns.

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