The Crossing

Jul 24, 2020

Today’s poem is “The Crossing” by David Walker, from his first collection of poetry Moving Out, which won the poetry award in the Associated Writing Programs competition. His poems were published in numerous national magazines and in several other collections, including Voice Prints.  He grew up in Maine on his family’s ancestral home in Alna and lived for many years in Freedom. 

His widow, Frances Walker, writes, “David lived in Maine most of his life and saw his place, his family, his world with a harsh brightness but with a forgiving edge.”

The Crossing
by David Walker

At the far edge of the field, just in the shade,
my father waves; the heat cuts us in two
as I walk towards him.  The stubble bleeds
yellow, then nearly white; it crunches like snow.

Into the sun I stride, erect in my cause
and body straining toward the other side.
Hands on hips, my father watches me cross
calmly.  I am revolved in the season’s eye.

The sun leans in the distance, drawing a cloak
of pines slowly over its head; and still
he is waiting.  Ever year that I walk
his smile grows nearer. And I begin to smile.

from Moving Out (University Press of Virginia)

reprinted in The Maine Poets (Downeast Books)

Poem Copyright © 1976  by David Walker