Thursday, April 11, 2013

"To what purpose, April, do you return again?"

Many of you recognize that title as the first line of Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem "Spring", which I've added at the end of this posting.

Yes, it's April again, and the eleventh (how can it be?) anniversary of Grace's death looms. That familiar feeling of unease arrived a few days ago, and at first I felt puzzled because I have been having such a lovely time on my book tour, have wonderful trips and more events coming up, and basically have little to complain about. And in the flurry of activity, I didn't even notice April arrive. But like kinesthetic memory, my heart knew.  


To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.