At Pooh Corner
by Gloria Viglione
It was a self-styled sabbatical
across the Atlantic—
Forest Row, East Sussex
to uncover storytelling as a healing art.
I followed my landlady, Daphne Mortelman,
bowed legs and steady gait, upstairs
to a corner room, her motley sheepdog
riding lightly on her heels.
I rose early before the sun crested,
tread upon crystals of hoarfrost through the glen
to the college hall with paned windows and
Scots pine logs in the fire pit.
Awash with playful laughter and tears
we searched our lives, the body magnificent,
the planets, the attributes of color, our voices—
to discover ourselves anew.
At eventide, I returned from deep work
in brocaded circles of storied women
that drew themes from dreams, heroines
and myths that coax the muse.
Together we orchestrated winter into spring,
melting frozen steeples into caches of bluebells,
casting clematis across Ms. Daphne’s cobbled porch.
With Tigger in my pocket and
the Hundred Acre Wood a stone’s throw away,
my imagination was refreshed,
the kingdom of my childhood, made nimble again.
And the healing story that I sought?
It was nearly wise enough to heal the bloodline
and the ancestors beyond the veil
lent to it their weight in gold.