Monday 7 February 2022


You Would Never Know
(Too Wild for the Suburbs)

by Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Who would have thought that I
Wild flower child
Would land in a suburb

Yet here I am, reining myself in
To the proper level of decorum
Picking up the morning paper clothed

Mowing the lawn
Serving on boards with lawyers
Where I feel like the Lorax

“I speak for the trees!”
As I travel the sidewalks
I seek constant contact

With hedges and shrubs
Brushing my body against them
Especially fond of the prickly ones

Walking under low-hanging ginkgoes
To feel their leaf fans in my hair
Squatting outside shucking corn over the compost pail

Which is emptied on Mondays
I remember giving birth in this position, twice
I can binge watch Netflix with the best of them

But between episodes
I’m out talking to the toads in the cellar hole
And waiting for the moon to rise

I have to scrape more mud off my shoes than most
But otherwise you would never know

* * * * *

Melanie Choukas-Bradley grew up wandering the woods of Vermont. She is the award-winning author of seven nature books. Melanie lives near Washington, DC where she leads nature and forest bathing walks for Smithsonian Associates and many other organizations. She is author of City of Trees, A Year in Rock Creek Park, The Joy of Forest Bathing and, most recently, Finding Solace at Theodore Roosevelt Island and Resilience: Connecting with Nature in a Time of Crisis. Melanie has been a longtime contributor to The Washington Post and frequent guest on NPR and its affiliates. She began writing poetry during the pandemic.

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