06 March 2008

"april, come she will"

several folks in the last few days have kvetched, bemoaned, and sighed with me over the fact that, in indiana, march is the month of "almost-spring." it's a month of spring teases.

even garrison keillor brought it up in one of his recent shows -- that we get so close, the wind has lost its bite, we see the sun, the sun! -- and then we look out the window the next day to find snow.

some folks are okay with this. i say: winter is no good for anyone, unless you're a bear.

i say: winter is no good, no matter how much zoloft you're on.

a colleague came into my office today to say that one of her friends in kansas city reports that there are crocuses appearing there. we are a month behind kansas city in the changing of seasons. there is hope, and then there is waiting. they can co-exist, but i am tired of the waiting.

i finally heard birds as i woke up this morning, and while they were those big, scary crows with big, menacing black beaks, they were birds. and i was grateful.

and it's better than finding a bird in my house when i get home in the evening, a bird that likely got in (this is the best hypothesis i've heard for how it got in -- thanks, dad) through the furnace chimney. and flapped around my head, dive-bombing me in the kitchen, then making a cozy little nest out of my heap of scarves in the closet. and finally made his way out after i flung both doors open and hid in the bedroom with my cat, who would much rather have gone back out to start another game of "chase the bird until it hates you."

this poem, then, i dedicate to the bird who may finally be getting warmer, and so will not need my chimney anymore, and to surviving (almost) another gray indiana winter.


~ Louise Gluck

Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.

I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn't expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring --

afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy

in the raw wind of the new world.

(published in: Claiming the Spirit Within, ed. Marilyn Sewell, Boston: Beacon Press, 1996.)

p.s. i could just live in her line breaks in this poem: "survive, expect, feel, body, remembering, again, light, spring, again, joy, world." even just those words are music, climactic, hopeful!


Anonymous said...

"i say: winter is no good, no matter how much zoloft you're on."

I'm fairly certain that this line needs to be written into every poem, short story, epilogue, Prologue, preface and spoken word piece done on winter for at least the next six years.

A line so brilliant I’m furious I just read it... why I wish I could have been muttering this under my breath all winter long, plotting to put it on bumper stickers and t-shirts... possibly black print on a grey sweater (as to match my "Real Woman Read Faulkner" sweatshirt.)

sallylynn said...

i'd totally wear that sweater. both of them. would that i could knit them.

we should set up a business. we'd make a killing.