The Poetic City: “Context for a Walk in Audubon Park”

Editor’s Note: Via NolaVie invites poets and poetry organizations to join us in celebrating the burgeoning and versatile New Orleans community of verse. In coordination with various poets and poetry organizations, we want to publish poems, orally and written, by and about this city we love. Please contact Kelley Crawford ( with suggestions or submissions.

Audubon Park (photo by: Chad Carson)

“Context for a Walk in Audubon Park”
by: Reece Burka
When I awoke to a text from a friend
bearing the news that every atom in
my body had been on an extended journey
through stars, planets, and countless organisms
before becoming a part of me, I felt honored.
The thought of myself as entirely composed
of these tiny travelers produced a sense of
cosmic value that I hadn’t realized I possessed.
I had already learned that matter arises
from the dust of exploding stars; but the idea of
each atom crossing the immensity of space
and time as a separate entity seemed to make
everything quite special.
My wife folding laundry, the dog
chasing the cat, the dishes in
the sink, and even my unmade bed
were all imbued with the spark, twinkle,
and mystery of the nighttime sky.
Every object appeared energized by everything
that went before it, all the way back to the Big Bang.
So, I am sure you can imagine how glorious
it was when I took my daily walk-in-the-park
later that Sunday afternoon.


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