Sunday, October 25, 2015

Within the care of the season

Suddenly there are pumpkins wherever you look!


Bit an apple on its red
side        smelled like snow
Between white halves broken open
brown winks slept in sockets of green

Stroked a birch white as a thigh
scar-flecked smooth as a neck
of a horse          On mossy pallets green
the pines dripped down
their perfect carvings brown

Lost in the hairy wood
followed berries red
to the fork         Had to choose
between green and green        High

In a sunwhite dome a brown bird
sneezed         Took the path least likely
and it led me home         For

each path leads both out and in
I come while going      No to and from
There is only here       And here
as well as there          Wherever
I am led I move within the care
of the season
hidden in the creases of her skirts
of green or brown or beaded red

And when they are white
I am not lost        I am not lost then
only covered for the night

May Swenson

The Voice That Is Great Within Us; 
American Poetry of the Twentieth Century
edited by Hayden Carruth, Bantam, 1970, page 481.

May Swenson, born in Logan, Utah, was the oldest of 10 children.
She grew up in a household where Swedish was the home language. She had a long and well-regarded poetry career, and did translate poetry from Swedish as part of it.

This poem has irregular stanzas, interesting spaces within the lines,
and no puncuation! It also has a bird sneezing. Good night. . .

No comments:

Post a Comment