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Sunday, March 21, 2010


by Laura Rodley

Thank the Lord we have solved the crisis
all the missiles have been put
back in their tiny holsters,
all the grenades stuffed under
the pillows, pins put back in them.
We have put bread into the mouths
of starving babies, and seeds
into the ground to hold
the wolves at bay by growing
food and bought two sheep
to send to Africa, we have
bottled a distillation of
hope and drunk every drop.

We have cordoned off
an area and called it Spring.
Here Spring, come forth,
we say, show your greenery,
your wide-eyed sprigs,
be blue only in the morning
gay in the afternoon
and forgive the frogs
if they start singing a little early
the heat from our continuing
has woken them up.
It’s no longer a closed casket,
it’s an open casket ceremony
and the body has gotten
up and lives yet again.
Bring on the dancing girls
the accordions, the mouth organs
the flutes, swirl, dip and
swing your pen, breathe in
the damp dew of Spring’s shy beginning
her virgin breath like peppermints, her
slippers snowdrops by your doorway.
Even deer in the woods
are pulling buds off the trees
chewing bark to lick the sap
underneath, they leave tiny
notes in crevasses where the snow
has melted in a ring around the tree,
trust us they say, be silent, be silent
and then write the story, your story,
and keep everyone of us in it.

See my tiny cloven hoof,
it needs each of the other three
hooves to keep me leaping.
There, a dog, I must leave;
remember, write it down,
and take this, a scarf from my budding antlers
wear it around your neck
breathe in the cool breath of morning
just before the birds awake
before the pink fingers of dawn
caress your face, breathe in
the four leaf clover promise of green,
the nectar of coffee, aroma
we can smell from the woods
and check your tires when you
leave; they are your tracks
they tell us which way you’re headed.
And then if you must, close the door.
Come lay down with us in the woods,
make a snow angel, an imprint
in the snow to keep warm, and
when you get up, we can remember
you knelt there, right there, just before the sun
melts the snow all away.

And hold in your heart then this thin breathing
How we deer take in such little breaths
so quickly to bundle us through the snow
blast through the woods, keep this
thin breathing to hold you, this
thin breathing to hold the bark now
grown around the tree of you in
place for now you see you’ve grown
roots, you’re a tree, a maple, whose
body we lick to draw our sap, to
give us energy, to soar.
Here, let me lick you,
the sap is sweet and running,
Spring is here again,
I can taste it.

Laura Rodley's chapbook Rappelling Blue Light was nominated for a Mass Book Award. Nominated fora Pushcart Prize, her work has been in anthologies, Massachusetts Review and many others. On the advisory board of the Collected Poet Series, she works as a freelance writer and photographer.