On the Edge of Wildness

Brown horse standing on green grass

I have ridden wild horses
And looked a gorilla in the eye
As he stopped munching on bamboo
High in the Virungas in Rwanda

But I don’t run with the wolves
Nor do I yip with the coyotes
Though I would like to soar
With eagles I haven’t yet tried

My yearning now for the wild is
Well, mild, as I commune daily
With cardinals and talk to deer
In my neighborhood that talk back

A swan I call Sweetie once swam to me
Every morning and preened and cooed
In mysterious garbled swan words
In response to my admiring glances

Roadie, the roadrunner that patrols
My yard with a proprietary stride
Did a mating dance for me one day
Though I couldn’t return his love

They are enough, these creatures
To let me know that my world is
Still alive with wildness and wonder
Even as disaster looms on its edges


Poem by Carol Flake Chapman

A former journalist, Carol Flake Chapman returned to poetry, her first love, after the sudden death of her husband on a wild river in Guatemala shattered her life. Poetry, she found, was the language she needed not only for her own healing, but for a way to talk about healing the troubled earth.