Today’s poem speaks to two aspects of travel I absolutely love.
Long term travel.
Traveling long term allows you to travel slowly. In fact, it demands that you travel slowly. You’ll exhaust yourself if you travel long term at the same rate that you do on a two-week trip. So you travel slowly. And what are the benefits of that? It’s about learning the language, cooking with an old woman, having children knock on your door when something exciting is happening. How wonderful.
But then, in our poem, the circus comes to town. And new opportunities arise. And the traveler picks up and follows the opportunities – “beneath the throw of the knife”. He or she ignores the risk of leaving what is comfortable and explores new horizons.
She also has a book of poetry available, No Father Can Save Her from Plain View Press. And now the poem…
Learning to Travel
She will learn French,
enough to greet and shop become known.
A French baker befriends her.
After a long summer
she stays on into the fall
writes poems, picks wild herbs.
An old woman cooks with her.
They sit in silence
while the sun sets. In the evening
she lights candles, when hungry
they share bread and cheese.
A circus comes to town,
young children knock
on her door to watch
elephants parade in the street.
Tents are raised.
A knife thrower invites her for his act.
The wind of flying knives pulses
dreams of moving on with the circus
until there is no question. She will go.
She pulls together a bag
says goodbye to the old woman
to the baker, to the children,
moves to the next town
beneath the throw of the knife.
by Julene Tripp Weaver