Just in time for springtime, New Mexico poet Mary McGinnis beckons us out into great outdoors with her poem “Trail Prayer”. Blind since birth, Mary nonetheless enchants us with rich vibrant imagery in her ode to friendship and repose, food and drink, living waters, wildlife, health, and the trail itself–Whitman’s “long brown path” leading wherever we choose. This poem begs to be printed out and folded up in your hiking pack or jacket pocket, to be read after lacing up your weathered boots, before setting off on the path Mary’s shown us with “Trail Prayer”.
Trail, hold me;
trail, herd me forward;
treasure, drop into my hair,
fish, flash, and jump from the lake,
liver, cleanse in your mysterious prison.
Now I lower me onto green sand;
ocean, lake, pocket, let me hear you sing;
goat milk, turn mild and light,
tomatoes, ripen and fall here,
old friend, make room for me on your mat.
Mary McGinnis, blind since birth, lives and writes in New Mexico inspired by emptiness, desert, and mountains. Published in over 80 publications, she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has four full length collections: Listening for Cactus, October Again, See with Your Whole Body, and Breath of Willow.