“Seeking Stars” by Susan Coultrap-McQuin is a meditation on growing older and inhabiting the autumnal season of our lives. Susan told The Dewdrop that “Seeking Stars” embodies her spiritual connections to other creatures and other human lives. This poem was previously part of an art and literary exhibition entitled “Women’s Voices” in the Sower Gallery, Chaska, Minnesota. The gallery is run by an interfaith nonprofit called Spirit in the House and is supported by the Shepherd of the Hill Church in Chaska.
inspired by N. Scott Momaday, “The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee”
I am the long shadow of a child,
twisting as she twirls and skips,
clinging as she dashes through grasses,
past blazing maples, purple asters,
stretching when she rushes west,
not yet knowing who she’ll become.
I am also the rain, lover of earth,
nudging seeds to sip and sprout,
raging wild in summer storms,
hurling fire to the ground,
weeping showers on sultry days,
filling reservoirs, gushing streams.
So, too, the turtle snug in its shell,
the owl silent in chirping night,
white frost on still-green grass,
a hawk afloat on winter winds,
a rusty leaf on an empty oak,
the scraggly sage in falling snow.
I swim with the salmon upstream,
cool waters course down my back,
past prickly fins, my sweeping tail,
at last to leave my simple seed
in rocky shallows, soon to rise,
jumping free, seeking stars.
Susan Coultrap-McQuin is a retired educator, frequent traveler, and avid gardener. Recent poems have appeared in Talking Stick volumes, The Moccasin, Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, and pandemic anthologies Capsule Stories Isolation Edition, ACCC Pandemic Arts Journal, and This was 2020 (forthcoming). She has exhibited her poetry in libraries, parks, and art galleries. A recent poem, “Killing Field Memorial” received an award from Wick Poetry Center at Kent State (judge: Naomi Shihab Nye). Her forthcoming chapbook, What We Bring Home, will be published by The Poetry Box. Susan has also published books on women writers, articles on women’s studies and higher education, and has edited an anthology on feminist ethics. She coordinates the Arts Consortium of Carver County annual poetry contest.