Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Poetry Afternoon

It's warm! It's sunny! It's a day for tipping the last bits of ice and strawberries out of your cup of agua fresca--and, if you're strolling in my part of the Mission, to put on your tank top and tiny denim miniskirt and stiletto sandals, and that's just to go to the bank.

And, of course, to roll out the springtime poetry.


Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.

I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn't expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring--

afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy

in the raw wind of the new world.

--Louise Gluck, "The Wild Iris"