those objects she became

Look at Whitman go.

There was a child went
forth every day,
And the first object he
looked upon, that object
he became,
And that object became
part of him for the day
or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or
stretching cycles of years.
The early lilacs became
part of this child,
And grass and white
and red morning glories,
and white and red
clover; and
the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the third-month
lambs and sow’s
pink-faint litter, and
the mare’s
foal, and the cow’s calf.

-Walt Whitman

I’m a Whitman fan anyway, and when I read the imagery in the piece above I instantly fell in love with it. The imagery was just so…visceral, tactile. I love that kind of writing! Reading this prompted me to wonder what objects I became — for a day or for a season — after encountering them in my youth. I reflected, pondering on my childhood and deciding this:

The draped honeysuckle
became part of me,
And violet dew-dropped
morning glories and
baby starlings
rescued from the flue;
And earthworms plucked
from drying walks,
and bare feet on
thick green grass
and hot Georgia
pavement; and rough bark
of climbed trees
and fences.

What objects did you become, or what objects do you think or hope your child has or will become? I would love to hear, even if it’s in sentence form!


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