Pandemic Poems - APRIL 2020
Janice Miller Potter
Bio Note: I didn’t intend to write poems for this awful occasion. But the mood and circumstances were seeping through me. When I thought I was simply writing about the weather, I realized that the world illness was implicit in my words. While no one is safe now, I’m lucky to live in rural Vermont. I have a house to shelter in and land to walk on. With my husband, and the happy interference of two dogs, I’ll be planting a garden soon. And hoping that the tiny seeds make it.
The woods deepen Bare branches coated with ice reach out in silence Bird cries mute behind the intricate cloud veil In our cold room in darkness we hold flesh to flesh Blind we touch thoughts of the field under snow Keeping untilled
Snowdrops emerge through a thatch of frozen leaves, their small white beads quivering on slender green stems. Under lithe red limbs of dogwood, purple-streaked crocuses mob and bloom in an expanding ring of effusive bells. Against the concrete foundation, white and yellow daffodils crowd and wave towards the colder places in the world. In those exposed, open spaces, armies of green spears rise from bare ground to give succor to Thalias and Alfreds. The less disciplined rubbery leaves of would-be tulips ruffle over the last year’s shovelings of rotted mulch. Startled by an outbreak of fierce swallows and bluebirds competing for the same nesting box, I look through a maze of swollen green lilac buds and sense unguarded hope surging through griefs bound into countless fallen leaves. When I step back into my house, the darkness is intense; but above a stale air, the scent of a spring lily thrives.
It is a wholeness of one Like the sun it shines light that transforms All fears from lurking darkness No one is immune to it In the darkest cave of despair one burning coal Bearing light inwardly pierces the soul Bound into darkness The cave of suffering is lit enough from within To engrave its own walls Ages hence people enter The same monstrous cave and find the same fire Lighting all stories Perpetuating the meaning Of something bright and dark that springs like a bird Through our cupped hands
©2020 Janice Miller Potter
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