“Mom, camping is not a date; it’s an endurance test. If you can survive camping with someone, you should marry them on the way home.” – Yvonne Prinz, The Vinyl Princess

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Camping Out

BY EDWIN GLADDING BURROWS

I watched the nesting redstart
when we camped by Lake Winnepesaukee.
The tent pegs pulled out in soft soil.
Rain made pawprints on the canvas.
So much clings to the shoes,
the old shoes must be discarded,
but we’re fools to think that does it:
burning the scraps.
I listened for the rain at Mt. Monadnock,
for the barred owl on a tent peak
among scrub pines in Michigan.
I can hear my father stir
and the cot creak. The flap opens.
He goes out and never returns
though the coffee steams on the grill
and the redstart sings in the alders.
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