First Campout

First Campout

First Campout

(Inspired by Maumee Bay State Park, Oregon, OH)

By Kerry Trautman


The tent’s taut nylon flapped, crackled

      in night’s variable winds.

In the distance, thunderstorms

      had moved on eastward.

The baby slept fitfully,

      barely relaxing into steady breaths,

dreaming, perhaps, of lightning

      just beyond the soggy meadow

      with its shrieking red-wing blackbirds,

or of the campfire and its

      new-found, threatening beauty,

waking intermittently in the unfamiliar dark

      with its shuddering, movable walls,

groping for my face,

      grabbing hold with both sweaty palms,

pressing his forehead to my cheek,

      searching, in my skin, for a way home.

Kerry Trautman

Kerry Trautman's poetry and fiction have appeared in various journals, including The Fourth River, Alimentum, Midwestern Gothic, and Think Journal, as well as in anthologies such as Mourning Sickness (Omniarts, 2008,) and Journey to Crone (Chuffed Buff Books, 2013.)  Her chapbooks are, Things That Come in Boxes (Kingcraft Press 2012,) To Have Hoped (Finishing Line Press 2015,) and Artifacts (NightBallet Press 2017.)

Kerry's poem "Marblehead," inspired by Marblehead Lighthouse in northern Ohio, appeared within our 2017 poetry series.

Featured image by Satish Krishnamurthy / CC BY