Alan: Sometimes the land lies counter to our emotions. In leaf-fall, joy; in the greening meadow, grief.
This same field
a few springs back
held small pools
in a cold wind
like blue eyes
full of tears.
It sparkles now, white,
or where the sun touches,
are dropping their leaves,
in the still air,
with a faint chattering
Who can discern
why sorrow then,
why happiness now?
Nancy: Easier asked than answered: where do these words come from?
There was my poem, pinned to the bulletin board
at Walmart, between the bean supper and the car
wash, an entirely appropriate juxtaposition
for many of my poems, focused as they are on
the weather and/or the scraggly epiphanies
of survival in a hard place.
There are nights when I can’t connect with
malicious greens and gilt umbrellas, nights
after days when I’ve spent an entire pot of tea
talking with neighbors about the costs of living
simply; it’s a relief to turn Wallace Stevens
face down on the table and step out to pee,
splintery boards, sharply cold air, an orange
rind of moon, nothing veiled.
Weeks from now, when I’ve forgotten worry and wait
and hurt, I’ll remember sitting on the clinic’s
hard chair talking poetry with the nurses’ aide,
who is shy and who keeps her voice low, but who needs
reassurance; how can these words have such independent
wills, she asks, where do these words come from,
who am I, writing these words?