Allyson Whipple – I Don’t Have a Vermont Poem

June 30, 2014 | By | 4 Replies More

Every Traveler Has One Vermont Poem – Audre Lorde


I was raised to be a homebody.

My parents never wanted to leave town,

it wasn’t until I was twenty-three

I realized settling down

wasn’t too different from settling,

I didn’t have  to claim a home

by default; I could see the world.


Even so, Vermont has never crossed

my eyes, much less my mind

or heart. So perhaps

I am still not a traveler.


Though I have not wandered far,

I have gone deep. Don’t forget

Texas is a giant; it could house

twenty-seven Vermonts. Don’t discount

the time I have spent caressing its borders,

or the work that goes into memorizing

such ample sky.




Category: Knowing, When Women Waken Literary Journal

Comments (4)

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  1. Jill Coyle says:

    I love how you end this poem! It’s just great how you weave the concepts of space and geography into how you think about your life. I think like this sometimes too….maybe because I’ve always loved maps.

    This reminds me a little of some of Billy Collins’ poems for some reason. It makes me think about his poem “Fishing on the Susquehanna in July.”

  2. This really made me smile. I don’t have a Vermont poem, either! And now you do have a Vermont poem, of course. I love the detail of “twenty-seven Vermonts.” And nice to see a defense of Texas, when it gets picked on so much. Reminds me of Thoreau’s “I have travelled a good deal in Concord.”

  3. Cheryl Pearson says:

    I love everything about this from the title to the closing lines. It should feel like a small poem, the writer living in a single place and within a single environment, but it feels like the opposite – that “ample sky”, and the lines about the size of Texas contribute to that, as does the sense we get of the writer’s history, and the way her mind moves from place to place within such a short poem, from her parents to Vermont to Texas to the sky to geography. Really beautifully done.

  4. Laurie Kolp says:

    Hey, Allison. Yes, everything’s bigger in Texas, isn’t it?

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