Space without Doors


Pat H. Fredeman

As a child
Spending anxious time   healing time   happy time
In the woods,
I never asked anyone, "Which way is in or out?"
Or "Where is the door?"
I knew north to the great oak
South to the pine grove nestlings
An eastward diagonal to the mottled sweetgum,
By the white sanded creek,

Then a circle westward
By way of the rich bottom-land garden -
   Sprouting with sweet,
         fresh turnips
      (no one would miss one or two) -
To the miniature waterfall
Trickling   southerly   clearly
Chiming   with no charge
But flourishing nonetheless and
Sharing with anyone, anything there,
Or not there,
In the forest to hear,

Even the lazy snake
Curled sunnily in the path alongside
The singing water.
It too hears music? Even asleep?

I almost missed the adult web of pines -
   Tucked warily along the slope among the new oaks
   Savoring the westerly breeze,
   Hiding from the tone deaf cutters
         that would eventually come -
For I lingered too long
Watching the fat, coiled, forest fellow
   (Did he stop by the hen house?)
Basking in the sun and water music.

And then my mother's imperious call
Broke over the deep ravine
Between there and here,
Assumed precedence in the air,
Dropped a vinyl curtain,
Stopped my visitation,
And blocked my revelations.

So I turned away from the oaks and pines,
The magic of moments
Cast by bright waters
By serpents asleep along the trail
By graceful tracery of shifting leaves,
The sorcery of trees
Rippling with the quickening breeze.

Alive still the pristine covenant with Nature's spell,
A space without doors
Where no humans dwell.


Author Bio

Pat Fredeman has published numerous poems and some short, non-fiction pieces in various literary journals and magazines. She has done editorial work, given poetry readings, taught university literature and creative writing courses, and conducted community workshop courses for the regional branch of the National League of American Pen Women, of which she is a member. She has degrees from the University of British Columbia (M.A.) and the University of Oklahoma (B.A.[Phi Beta Kappa], Ph.D.[magna cum laude], Dissertation: Ben Jonson.

Ms. Fredeman's Christian Romance Paradise Regained will be available August 1999 from Gemini Books. Pat has recently completed a contemporary romance and a fantasy novelette and she tells us she is currently working on another novel.



"Space without Doors" Copyright © 1996 Pat H. Fredeman. All rights reserved. Previously published in Pegasus, Spring 1996, Vol. XVI. Published by permission of the author.
This page last updated 4-17-99.

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