Open Road: Worn Paths in Toledo, OH

8 Sep

When I’m on a vacation, be it a month-long backpacking trip or weekend jaunt, each day I plan to leave a section of Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road somewhere along the way. I might leave it in a B&B guestbook, tuck a note behind a hotel painting or write it on a dollar bill I spend at a hot dog stand. In any case, I’ll be tracking where I leave the poem here. I call it The Open Road Project.

I left the ninth section of the poem at the Wildwood Metropark in Toledo, OH. A little gathering that evening required a trip from Bowling Green to Toledo to buy libations and after stocking up, we stopped by the park. We wandered into “Windows on Wildlife,” a little room with a two-way mirror facing a clearing in the park full of bird and other animal feeders, trees and a pond. We saw no less than three groundhogs, one squirrel, one hummingbird, two cardinals, one woodpecker, two chipmunks, and a bygod frog sitting in the pond, all in the course of say, twenty minutes. It was comically picturesque. I tucked the poem behind a sign for the bee observatory also located in the “Windows on Wildlife” room. I wish we could have gotten better pictures, but an iphone camera plus weird shade vs sun issues meant the true glory of the place was just not meant to be pixalated.

You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!
You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!
I believe you are latent with unseen existences, you are so dear to

Check out where the poem’s been on Everlater and follow its route stanza by stanza at the Open Road page.


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