A Safe Place: A Poem-Story for Poem in Your Pocket Day

the trees of their valley home
fill out with the soft down of
newly unfolding leaves and
the hills, from heaven, must look
like they’re covered with velvety moss.
so she takes them walking in
the woods—her two boys and
that extra, the one who has always
been around. across the railroad tracks
to the three ponds—the place they used to go.
they no longer strain to hold her hand;
lag behind in their own conversations.
she carries a big stick—for bears; coyotes, she
says.  and they talk about phone apps to
scare a bear away with noise.
in the middle of nowhere—a clutch
of daffodils. she wonders out loud if
there used to be a farm here before
the railroad came through. someone planted
these…placed each bulb with careful fingers, she says.
the sky is white through the trees and
she remembers the rat snake they saw here
once—at least five feet long and fat from a
swallow. they—so small—looked on and she
resisted the urge to scoop them up and run.
today, there is only one frog, a salamander,
and birdsong. they want to climb hills, into the trees
but the other—the extra—he keeps saying, my,
what an adventure!and she notes a slight tremor.
he has to be at tennis lessons by five.
she fingers her walking stick and wonders, when
did the woods become so frightening? she knows
she cannot keep them safe from everything. unforeseen
tragedy crouches in every shadow. but love is 
the safest of shelters.


  1. says

    We were just discussing this at Bible study yesterday, that urge to attempt to keep loved ones safe through our control. God has me learning right now that my presence is no assurance of safety and, present or absent, I must trust them to Him.

    When tragedy approaches and swipes sharp claws instead of crouching, when it “roars its terrible roar and gnashes its terrible teeth” like in the Wild Things book, it’s harder to do. And I don’t even have children! It must be unimaginably harder to trust them to the Love that truly is “the safest of shelters” when the beloved ones are born from one’s own flesh.

    May the Lord protect you and yours today, and may He strengthen you to trust. Beautiful poem that has me thinking. Thank you for sharing your walk and heart, friend.

  2. Sharon O says

    Always wonderful. I could just imagine it. all of it and the conversations and the old crooked walking stick and the fear along with the safety… just wonderful.

  3. Jody Collins says

    Laura, for some reason I was holding my breath while I read this….’losing’ your boys this way, I hope that makes sense. A bittersweet treasure, no doubt, stealing them away to hike about the woods. I am so happy for you they came….
    Then I exhaled when I read the last line.
    I have a feeling the shelter of your mom love will be a place they return to over and over again, no matter how old they are.

  4. Hazel Moon says

    As the scripture says, Cast your Care upon the Lord, there comes a time when we “cast the care” of our children on the Lord. In the meantime, keep an eye and an ear open to see and hear what the Holy spirit tells you to pray over them.

  5. Len says

    i really like your “no caps” device! It makes me slow down and pay attention to your punctuation, and it seems to highlight your content.
    your work — your calling — is obviously blessed.
    thanks for this pretty little piece, and for you and yours, i pray peace!

  6. says

    You had me at poetry… the photos just clinched the deal! {I took almost the same photo of those little white flowered weeds in my Thursday post, and I, too, know those wild daffodil patches from my southeastern Ohio childhood. Magical.}

  7. Anonymous says

    I’m studying Journalism at the University of Minnesota, and I am looking for a good website to start blogging on. I’m mostly looking for a good sports blogging website, but a music website would also be of interest. I’ve heard about Bleacher Report, is that one of the main sites?.
    [url=http://bonoes.webs.com/l bonoes.webs.com/[/url]

  8. bluecottonmemory says

    You are so right – love is the safest shelter. Those long ago days – when they didn’t see fearsome things in the shadows – only God’s world – those were sweet times. Beautiful poetry Laura!

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