April is Cruelest? How About May?






April is Cruelest? How About May?
 
 

 

Red and yellow tulips school children planted in the fall

now flourish under the schoolhouse windows this spring,

with a flood of new buds in the gardens of homes beyond,

delicate petals of lilies, daffodils, and blue delphinium, and

the sweet scents of lilacs, pink roses, blue hydrangea.

In the field, wild forsythia and the fuzzy tufts of pussy willows,

and along the creek that winds gently through, cattails with their

russet tufts sway in the softer May breezes. A red-winged

blackbird sends a high-pitched melody rising and falling,

sweet song that lifts the hearts of the young.

 

The old, as well, revel in rituals of reawakening—but beg to be

spared from dyspeptic poets! Old or young, they think too much.

Of fleet-footed time, of the withering rose, or torrential rain,

the swollen rivers ripping at shores, sending muddy banks sliding,

boulders crashing, to bury homes and kill and kill!

Or without drama or tragedy, they warn of the relentless

turn of calendar days, Elliot’s Prufrock measuring out

his life in coffee spoons. Auden’s Time lurking to cough

when you would kiss, and, meanest of all, Dylan Thomas! 

Telling me Time held me green and dying even as

I planted that tulip bulb in the second grade, with that

little popsicle stick! And my name on it no less! There for all to see!

 

No, let us resist these sour, dour realists. Instead, let’s grab a bunch

of rosebuds, just gather and gather while we—cough! cough!—May!

 

 

Stephen Granzyk


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