LEAF AND BEAK: SONNETS
By Scott Wiggerman
Published in 2015 by Purple Flag.
Reviewed by Trilla Pando.
Open the door, take a step, take another. Day begins with my morning walk. Look for squirrel, greet the usual dogs, compose my mental to-do list. Not an exciting two miles by any means, but I’m about to change the way I walk. Scott Wiggerman’s runs inspire me.
Like mine, Wiggerman’s route is unchanging—his is right around Mueller Lake Park in Austin, the route is the same but the trip is ever-changing as he looks, sees and shares a lively world. He frets about confrontations: the toddler children and the toddler ducklings; the egret and the snake. He takes comfort in realizing that November-fogged window panes are “a sign we’re still alive/on days we have our doubts.”
I read this book of sonnets straight through. The first time, enjoying a year of wandering around the lake and relishing the lilt and rhythm of the sonnet form, I also sat a bit in awe of this author’s mastery of that familiar form—it’s never boring. After finishing, the book didn’t go on my poetry shelf; rather, it’s right by the front door waiting to go walking with me.
Since the sonnets move through the calendar, occasionally I’ll slip the book in my backpack and read a few to welcome a new season, or help endure one that’s over-lasting its stay—“the tedium/of too much heat.”
This book isn’t all that’s going with me. I intend to put a notebook in my pocket, a pencil in my hand and find new ways to look at my two miles. Maybe not sonnets, but—maybe. And if I’m ever walking in Austin, I know where I’m heading.
Trilla Pando holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Houston; she taught in both Texas and Georgia. Her research focused on women in Texas and Houston. The Bainbridge (Georgia) Post-Searchlight published her weekly column on food and local history. She now lives and works in Houston.