Saturday, April 27, 2013

James Fenimore Cooper, After Twelve Months

My Dear Mr. Cooper,

It's been a year since I set you on my porch
to be cured of mildew, hoping the sun
would bleach it away. Instead, I've watched you
endure rain, frost, squirrels, wind, crows,
an accumulation of additional mold (stunning
pinks and greens, furry blues),
potato bugs, spiders, fir needles, human feet,
god knows what else.
Every day I've checked your verbage,
your crinkled pages, your unraveling spine.
You've been my constant, my index of months,
the tick-ticking of another year.
Now it's time to shift you, with intention,
to another place, maybe 
I'll snug you in among salal and irises,
or nestle you in meadowsweet and bluebells —
a bed I'd choose if my own chapters risked thinning.

You've been a sturdy volume —
nearly unmoved for twelve months
by the ravages of a flawed planet.
Maybe your words will take root in the garden,
or maybe decompose, break down
to elements of a larger ecosystem.
You might take up with worms.

You've been good company, Mr. Cooper
and may your passing into new territory
carry with it every possible surprise.

All Best,


  1. Wonderful poem and photos, T. Will our lives / selves curl up and blow away like your pages . . . will we be free then?

    1. Kathryn, what complete delight to see you here, read your comments!


  2. Poor Mr Cooper.... if only he'd known what would become of his work.

  3. Dear Ms T,

    Our passage of time is at an end;

    'will not forget your kindness'

    Consult the dandelion clock