April is National Poetry Month and Carol Purington, Colrain’s noted haiku poet has donated a matted set of poems describing the Bridge of Flowers through its seasons. It is available by writing to email@example.com.
Carol has written several books of haiku describing life on a family farm, the essence of the seasons, the love of family, joy and sorrow. Carol, and her friend Susan Todd also put together an anthology of poems, Morning Song: Poems for New Parents.
The matted sheet is $15 including postage, and the plain cream heavy paper sheet is $10 including postage. All sales go to benefit the Bridge of Flowers. This is a lovely souvenir of a visit to the Bridge, or gift to someone who loves the Bridge.
Bridge of Flowers
the Indian-old river
bridge of blossoms
From the concrete
of a decades-dead trolley way
fragrance of violets
the flowers above
the river-reflected bridge
Arc of geese</em
under frosted flowers
the river runs south
fall from the flower-less bridge
to the ice-still river
Double lane of daffodils
crossing the flower way
floats out from under the arches
I am adding information about Carol written by Susan Todd, co-editor of Morning Song.
Before taking her 6th grade students to visit Carol for some Christmas Carol sing “I told my students Carol’s story, trying for simplicity and clarity. She contracted polio when she was six years old, as she was starting first grade. The illness began at school with a severe headache and high fever. Within days she was left needing help to breathe, and paralyzed except for limited movement in her left arm and hand. She spent a couple of years in Boston area hospitals where her most memorable accomplishment was learning to read. Eventually she moved back to the big farmhouse where she had been born, the third of eleven children. She lives there still, surrounded by a large and caring family.
When I asked Carol how I should relate her disability for this account, she said I should think about how I had prepared my students for our visit. And this exchange is perhaps the perfect window into the mind and influence of this woman – her ability to soar beyond limitations with wisdom and perspective. When I have taken older visitors to meet her, I also add that her body is small, but you will quickly get used to that. And what you’ll really notice is how sophisticated and brilliant and scholarly and witty she is.
That day in January, coming into Carol’s room from the storm outside, I had such a sense of peace. This front parlor, with views looking to the hills and garden and an oversized bird feeder up against the window, has been her world for over fifty years. A mirror which can be tilted to different angles lets Carol see the changing landscape and the family in the next room. Standing in the room’s center was a massive iron lung (now replaced with a smaller fiberglass lung), for sleeping at night, with “J. H. Emerson “printed on the side. “H. Emerson!” I said when I first saw it. “I knew him.” My best friend from childhood moved to Andover, Massachusetts in 1953 so her father could work with Haven Emerson on the distribution of iron lungs. We all had a crush on Haven Emerson Jr. I told Carol the story and she said, “All these years I have wondered what the H. stands for. Now I know.”