Bio Note: My dog leads me on long walks almost every night, down the mountain roads and then back up. It is good to follow, to not always think I'm in command of the ship or the bowsprit nailed to the prow, the head goose of the migrating V. I take my wife's hand and follow her gentle tugging. Spring comes, and the earth asks for yielding to enjoy it. So I yield.
There used to be snow in March, poems about peace but it hardly snows here so there are hardly any snow poems or peace poems. There’s a lot of anger poems, written from anger, and poems on fire. When I was a child I watched the Selma march on the news, watched my father, a small-town pastor, wipe away tears for the moderation MLK displayed, the contained ferocity of King’s manner, his unshaking resolve. It shook my father. Like snow, MLK blanketed the world and by his love came challenges and truth not expressed in hate poems but in love language and deed, and it was climate change he was after, the temperature of the heart not risen but cooled by perseverance for tolerance, concord. It was March, not quite winter, not quite spring. Then a murder in April before blossoms could unfold. I think King would think we’re still stuck right there, waiting for blossoms, the marching, snow mixed with anger anger melting the snow, our relapses into coldness turning the snow-melt into ice, March stuck in a never-ending cycle, King wooing us forward, our blooming not accomplished.
How Spring Began
Drawn to celebrate the equinox, cold March weather come to abrogate by circumflex, with mottled moon and snow’s last lace, a mother bends to find a place to kiss her child, her kind hands tame his thatch-roof cap-crushed hair, his shame concealed, her love forgiving raise his stare from scuffing shoe-drawn bent-neck disgrace, her soft palm spooning his jaw, elevating his chin, exposing to light his vernal face
©2021 Jeff Burt
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