Suddenly there are pumpkins wherever you look!
GREEN RED BROWN AND WHITE
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
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. . .