I wanted to go out into the world and drop poems in random places as they are doing here today. Especially after a week like this one I feel like someone happening upon a poem taped to a bathroom mirror or tucked into a textbook could be a comfort, a blessing in miniature. The truth is, I haven't intersected much with the world this week. Boy-o was in the hospital yesterday for tests and to be re-hydrated from the illness that only now seems to be lifting from his delicate little body, a full week after it began. My minor private worries are nothing against those of the wider world. I am thinking of the Nor'easter that flooded my basement and pounded against our streets...how strange it is that we could watch this storm gather and hit from miles away--from whole days away. Then human tempests can bubble up and rage over a campus and we have no warning...no forecaster telling of the accumulating clouds on the horizon.
My magnolia was burned in the freezing temperatures...the petals are dropping in brown-edged surprise. I've been reading a book of poems that sing to me in my chair by the window. My own words are quiet just now...I'm tired in a way that only the parent of a sick little one can be tired--my bed has been a nest of clouds. The weather has been winter all over again. Tomorrow, I have been told by those who can predict the skies that we will have sunshine in abundance. Radiant--warmth--light breaking all over the stunned garden. Over me. Over my broken blossoms. I plan to sit my body in the brightest slice of sun and let it sink in. I hope to gather up my words in a notebook like I did these fallen petals--putting them in a small clay nest my oldest made for me when she was three years old. Rachel Wetzsteon's words are the ones I offer in the meantime while I'm drifting.
by Rachel Wetzsteon
An agitation shakes the trees:
this tumult always seemed to me
the oldest motion, the turbulence
all others copied. As blossoms drift
down to the moist air, so blessings come
to those who wait long enough; when
pollen falls, the flight recalls
a fragile friendship dying. I never thought
that when petals touch the ground
the plenitude might stop there, the fragrance
be neither portent nor memory, but only
sweet smells lasting as long as the walk home.
It is spring; flowers fly everywhere.
And all night a low voice chides me
for never giving my all to the moment;
a question forms and grows urgent
and I won't take no for an answer:
if I gave up stories, what would become
of the gust, and the scatter, and the stillness after?
Would the trees be robbed of what made them priceless
or let their riches loose as never before?
(Sakura Park, 2006)