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Poetically Yours - Life's remnants

DeWayne Studios in Woodstock

Welcome to Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. This week features Peter Carroll.

Carroll is an attorney with offices in his native town, Woodstock. He received his master’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Illinois, where he performed major and minor roles in several operas. Carroll has been a vocal soloist for several music ensembles and has performed in community theatre productions at the Woodstock Opera House stage. He currently sings with The Dickens Carollers, based in Woodstock, during the Christmas season.
Carroll lives in Crystal Lake with his wife, Catherine. Today he's sharing his poem “Walnuts.”

A teary-eyed old man stumbled into my office today.

His son had died, he told me in his broken English. Greek accent muddying the words.

So I went to the woods, my comfort place. Looking for insight. For clarity. Walked past my mother’s memorial bench, perched above the now-full pond. Noticed the fallen hulks of trees that have gone on before.

Then I, too, stumbled. On a carpet of walnuts, covering the path. A plethora. An over-abundance, a surfeit. Trees have fallen into the dust, but their seed has been left behind.

What sort of seed will we – will I – leave behind? Just the deterioration of my wasted trunk? Or a carpet of seed that small ones can feast upon, and larger ones can plant, nourish, and build upon?

Approaching the parking lot now. I see a large flat bench, covered with walnut husks. The squirrels have been busy. Enjoying the legacy left for them.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.