Sun in February

it’s the light
flooding everything—
kind yet defiant, treestrong—
pouring into blue, lording over
cold, even now-death, tatters
of overwintering—
everything! from here
basking in glassview
our hothouse growing
what can withstand
(everything!)—fed liquid light
earthtaste of warmth
and wood, green always
within and again always
laughing

I had just drafted this poem when I learned of the death, much too young, of one of my husband’s colleagues. It re-framed this poem, and this sunny day, for me. Wishing you so much kind yet defiant sun, my dear readers and friends.

Disgusted is not too strong a word

1.
Well. We know they have power
and you have sometimes said to me
That’s a strong word
when certainly I meant it.
I don’t wield them like weapons
but I try to have a point.

2.
after splurging on thought
(time travel, what life
we could know before TV)
and a surfeit of sad violins
nothing left for it
but cleaning (the deep stuff)
as if scrubbing might solve
this damned spot

The sudden recurrence of grief

When I shouldn’t be wasting my time, he is before me
in the funny thing that aches his disappearance all over
again. Now convinced that the closing of my heart
dates to that winter day, along with all the distance
and shell-layers of brittle lacquer, the lack of warmth
in laughter, the need to say again in print it’s not fair
how we each carry in our cells some pain that spreads
dark cold

 

This morning thinking of my dad, not exactly related to but folding in with last night’s reading of W. H. Auden’s “In Memory of W. B. Yeats.” I used three lines from his poem as a kind of word list:
1) He disappeared in the dead of winter
2) The day of his death was a dark cold day.
3) And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom,