— Jesus Papoleto Melendez
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.
— Ada Limón
More than a hundred dollars of them.
It was pure folly. I had to find more glass things to stuff them
Now a white and purple cloud is breathing in each corner
of the room I love. Now a mass of flowers spills down my
each fresh-faced, extending its delicately veined leaves
into the crush. Didn’t I watch
children shuffle strictly in line, cradle
candles that dribbled hot white on their fingers,
chanting Latin—just to fashion Sevilla’s Easter? Wasn’t I sad?
Didn’t I use to
go mucking through streambeds with the skunk cabbage raising
bursting violet spears? —Look, the afternoon dies
as night begins in the heart of the lilies and smokes up
their fluted throats until it fills the room
and my lights have to be not switched on.
And in close darkness the aroma grows so sweet,
so strong, that it could slice me open. It does.
I know I’m not the only one whose life is a conditional clause
hanging from something to do with spring and one tall room
and the tremble of my phone.
I’m not the only one that love makes feel like a dozen
flapping bedsheets being ripped to prayer flags by the wind.
When I stand in full sun I feel I have been falling headfirst for
God, I am so transparent.
— Noah Warren
In the north country now it is spring and there
is a certain celebration. The thrush
has come home. He is shy and likes the
evening best, also the hour just before
morning; in that blue and gritty light he
climbs to his branch, or smoothly
sails there. It is okay to know only
one song if it is this one. Hear it
rise and fall; the very elements of your soul
shiver nicely. What would spring be
without it? Mostly frogs. But don’t worry, he
arrives, year after year, humble and obedient
and gorgeous. You listen and you know
you could live a better life than you do, be
softer, kinder. And maybe this year you will
be able to do it. Hear how his voice
rises and falls. There is no way to be
sufficiently grateful for the gifts we are
given, no way to speak the Lord’s name
often enough, though we do try, and
especially now, as that dappled breast
breathes in the pines and heaven’s
windows in the north country, now spring has come,
are opened wide.
— Mary Oliver
Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and
changing everything carefully
spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
and fro moving New and
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and
without breaking anything.
— E.E. Cummings
You said, take a few dry
sticks, cut the ends slantwise
to let in water, stick them
in the old silver cup on the
dresser in the spare room and
wait for the touch of Easter.
But a cold wave protected the
snow, and the sap’s pulse beat
so low underground I felt no
answer in myself except silence.
You said, winter breaks out in
flowers for the faithful and
today when I opened the door
the dry sticks spoke in little
yellow stars and I thought
— James Hearst
Today some things worked as they were meant to.
A big spring wind came up and blew down
from the verdant neighborhood trees,
millions of those little spinning things,
with seeds inside, and my heart woke up alive again too,
as if the brain could be erased of its angry hurt;
fat chance of that, yet
things sometimes work as they were meant,
like the torturer who finally can’t sleep,
or the god damn moon
who sees everything we do
and who still comes up behind clouds
spread out like hands to keep the light away.
— Bruce Weigl