the… cold dirt that will not be seduced into hills

It’s okay to be quiet sometimes, even if this quiet looks a little too much like sadness. Sometimes, it’s necessary. 

Keeping Still

If late at night, when watching the moon, you still
sometimes get vertigo, it’s understandable
that you wish suddenly and hard for fences, for someone
to marry you. Desiring a working knowledge,
needing to know some context by heart, you might
accept anything: the room without windows,
the far and frozen North, or the prairie, the prairie
even, if it means that.

The long wide space and cold dirt that will not
be seduced into hills, and the dust, that even after
you have kicked and wept and fallen on it pounding,
will not produce a tree. It will allow you
to rise with certainty and move with the relief
of necessary things to the wash on the line,
to the small maple you brought here that must be tied
for the winter or die.

Even the prairie night, blind with snow,
when no one comes, and you no longer look
to the mirror but force your fingers to the stitching
and produce a child to help with the lambing
and the carrying of water. Although it might be years
before you turn and stop, startled
by the sweet and sudden smell of sheets snapping
in the sun, and the drunken lilac, prairie purple,
blooming by the doorway, because you planted it.

by Marie Howe

from The Good Thief

April is Poetry Month. We’re celebrating here with a poem a day, by giving out poems like candy when you visit us, and discounting all poetry books by 10%. Because reading poetry is a fairly acceptable form of social deviance. And we’re all about that.

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Filed under Poetry Month 2012

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