Mary Lee Hahn is celebrating National Poetry Month by celebrating “Our Wonderful World.” Each day, Mary Lee is writing an original poem in honor of either a man-made or natural wonder. Today’s wonder is the Grand Canyon. I have rafted down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon twice, so I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to write a poem about my experience.
We have hundreds of photos from both of these trips, and I kept a journal during each trip. I have shared memories of our adventures in the past, Lava Falls and The Legend of the Sanpodohavatulli Expedition. Before attempting to write this poem, I reread my journals, skimmed through many of the pictures, and jotted many notes. But this poem did not come easily. I didn’t know where to start. Then, after listening to Christopher Leheman’s Teacher Poets online workshop this morning, it became clear that I needed to focus on a small sliver of the entire trip. Our hike to Deer Creek was one of the most memorable, so I focused on this beautiful side canyon.
The Grand Canyon
From Yaki Point on the South Rim,
the majestic sun-soaked sandstone
is on full display,
the river a ribbon of green a mile below.
But travel deeper,
into the heart of the canyon
to Deer Creek.
Climb the steep trail,
into the slot canyon behind the falls.
has carved the soft rock
with a sculptor’s precision;
finding each chink and crack,
washing the sediment away,
grain by grain,
shaping each sensuous curve,
creating this hidden oasis
where today I soak in a clear, cold pool,
immersed in the wonder of it all.
© Catherine Flynn, 2014
Thank you, Mary Lee, for inspiring this poem!