This cool thing happened because of my new book. I don’t have a picture, so bear with me, please, as I recreate with words the photo that was deleted before it made its way to me.
Somewhere in Vermont, at a mountain trailhead, a mountain biker I do not know posted a sheet of paper with my poem, “Proposal for a National Park Service Brochure,” printed upon it. Within days the white spaces around the words filled up with tick marks—+1, +1, +1, +1 …
Those are the only details I have, but let us say the poem is printed in black on heavy white paper and pinned gently at its four corners into the bark of an old tree. Let us say someone has left a pencil there to mark hatches or that pens are retrieved from glove boxes and consoles then shared around. Let us say those who pause to read the unofficial-looking signage nod in recognition. Let us say some of the ones who don’t pause on the way into the mountains pause before they return to their cars.
The readers don’t need the poem to remind them of their errand, but standing there dressed for whatever weather, ready to ride off into a wild place, may they feel themselves connected to people they will never meet who run similar errands on trails all over the world every day.
Believe me. It is tempting to recreate this thing and take a picture of it. But we don’t need another lie.
(Thank you A.N. for giving A Fine Canopy to your nephew and for reporting back.)