Who Owns Cross Creek?

Greetings fellow poets and writers–and nature loving Floridians! I resurfaced a poem I wrote for the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings contest a few years ago. It placed third in my division, which was pretty cool. Truthfully I think it needs tons of work, but thus is proof of my development as a writer :P. Anyhow, if any of you are familiar with Ms. Rawlings, she wrote the famous “The Yearling” and “Cross Creek.” My mom is a Florida nature devotee (if that’s the right word? Junkie doesn’t fit honestly, but if you can think of a better one–either way she loves Florida nature), and she loves all things Rawlings. We even visited her house a few years ago in Cross Creek. I just think it’s so cool to have someone coming from the city live in a swamp without any running water or electricity at first, in a state she didn’t know too much about, all by herself. Also, I learned that authors like Robert Frost and Margaret Mitchell (author of Gone with the Wind ) came to visit with her and they all critiqued each other’s writing in her house. I was totally awed by that! If you’re curious, here’s some more information about Ms. Rawlings. This is the poem I wrote about Cross Creek, quoting the final sentences of the book, Cross Creek, throughout the piece as well.


Who owns Cross Creek?

The cool winds whip the leaves, bringing life to an orange grove that slept through the night

Red birds nestle in their nooks and crannies of the branches, stirring in the sunshine

Dew strolls leisurely down an orange, dropping to the wet grass

The sun breaks through the dark sky, reaching high into another Florida morning

A raccoon slips through a front screen door to start his mischief

Eyes are open

Florida is awake

The earth may be borrowed, but not bought

Flowers bloom, revealing colorful petals that dot the dirt

Snakes keep hidden their deathly patterns as they slink through tall, green blades

The first chirps of the morning ring through sleepy clouds

The scraping of a door, the clanking of feet slice through silence

The clicking of a typewriter captures the soothing scene

Golds and reds merge and fade into a glaring blue

Eyes are open

Florida is at work

We are tenants and not possessors, lovers and not masters

A Mallard duck quacks amidst the chickens

Time pulsates through the sky as a woman rips another paper

She can settle for three pages, but not today

Pressing harder on each key, as each letter builds this world

The buzzing of insects clouds the sticky air

An egret gracefully dips its head into the crisp water

Eyes are open

Florida is alive

Cross Creek belongs to the wind and the rain, to the sun and the seasons…

And beyond all, to time.


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