Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I was wrong about getting my car out of the driveway yesterday. And today the rain is pouring, pouring down, which could be good news (dissolving ice) or bad (deep mud and floods). Standing at my desk in the little eyrie where I write, I hear the rain beating on the porch roof below the windows, the snowmelt dripping from the eaves. Every step toward spring is a conversation. Paul describes the mugginess of the air as he drinks his breakfast tea. Tom and I call each other to the doorway to admire the shrinking snow cap on the henhouse roof, the patch of bare ground over the septic tank.

In "The Chain," Hayden Carruth writes to his wife: "I am a poet and you are too and so are all people / except the monsters of this world / out there planting / mines in the mud and snow." These lines are as terrible as they are loving, but today I raise my standard over the loving; for the conversation--the brief words shared; eyes, sympathetic, observant; laughter at the cat's foolishness; a head in a lap. This is the poetry of family. And though a family inevitably contains much dross and tedium and despair, after such a terrible winter I feel as if the three of us today are balancing our spring songs as a highwire artist might balance a pole before she neatly, swiftly, walks over the chasm.

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