Note: This is a walking poem. I like walking poems. Very little happens in walking poems in terms of plot but there is a lot of development. This is an old poem. I like old poems. It doesn't mean a lot has happened but it does mean I've lived a lot.
March, All Over Again
Rain forms a prismatic pool on the snow
like chicken fat gleams on top of broth.
Icicles bend gutters, and one sticks
like a dagger in the heart
of a bird’s nest in the crotch
of a hawthorn hedge, long enough
that April will find its crime.
My father tells me the same male robin
is back again, for the third year,
hurling its body against the window pane
of his study leaving beak marks, feathers
and excrement, apparently unable to see
anything but reflection, and fearing that.
My father has put paper on the glass,
books and vases on the sill, and this year
stuck his owlish face in the window
and flapped his arms, but the bird
attacked, chivalrous, fierce, almost humanly dumb.
Yesterday, walking a shattered sidewalk,
I met a woman going the opposite way,
with room for only one lane of passage,
mud to my left, a man-deep bank
of snow to my right. I thought of Raleigh
whipping off his cape to toss it down,
of being instantaneously gracious,
but knew I’d frighten her, so climbed
the bank and let the moment pass, as always.
March, all over again, learning once more
after a dark winter of being walled in
that enlightenment means to lighten up,
both lamp and elation, to shake
hesitation from your shoulders.
Today the wind blows hard and wet.
I hear the varied thrush and goldfinch
sing, fresh coquettes with spring-green song,
and search to find their hidden nests.
When I hear the wind like a teakettle hiss
I’m caught in the thorns of a thicket
noticing rips in my jacket torn the previous year.
© 2019 Jeff Burt