A Poem about Nature

by Drora Matlofsky

As a child I was taught poems about nature.
I didn't really know what that meant.

Nature was the park at the end of the street
Where you weren't allowed to walk on the grass
And bushes and trees were trimmed and civilised.
In the park I was allowed to run
If I was careful not to bump into someone.
I was allowed to talk and sing,
But not shout.

Nature was a closed-off park.

At school,
I dutifully learned by heart
That nature was beautiful.
I watched the leaves in the park
Turning to so-called gold
And falling off.
That was poetry.
I lost interest
For the next thirty years.

Then I wrote a poem
About a building in a grey street
With rows of identical windows
And television antennas.
I had freed myself from nature.

Now at the bottom of my street
There is another park.
Childen and dogs roll around on the grass.
The air smells of pine.
Bushes, trees and flowers run wild.
No one tells you to be quiet.

I sit there
And listen
And write.

Drora Matlofsky has been living in Jerusalem since 1984. Her poetry in English has appeared in various poetry and Jewish magazines and her poetry in French can be found on the Poésie Française site.

Last updated August 03, 2015