Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Maud Carpenter


Maud Carpenter

John Stevens Wade

Whenever I think of Maud Carpenter alone,
I think of that place in the woods where squirrels
nutted in the noisy leaves;
where the tongue-lashing water of Denton Brook
scolded its way downhill.
I never threw a stone without thinking of Maud;
thinking the sky would avalanche in sharp blue rain.
I never ate the pitted fruit
without pretending that one of Maud's accusing eyes
was buried under the pulpy juice.
How I would dread the first ice of winter—
past her house to the frog pond, my skates on my back,
I knew in my child's mind that all the secrets of a shiver,
all the cut lips and frozen toes
were waiting behind the door at Maud Carpenter's,
and would be there until the last thaw.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 40, No. 4, Fortieth Anniversary Issue (Winter 1966 / 67), p. 290


Author Photo of John Stevens Wade

John Stevens Wade has contributed poems, stories, and articles to a number of publications including, The Nation, Colorado Quarterly, New York Times, The Cambridge Review, Queen's Quarterly, and Western Humanities Review. He presently resides in Maine and has lived in England, Ireland, Holland, Malta, and Portugal.