You gotta look hard, especially when you aren't used to looking for anything the last 4 months, but they are everywhere. Snow crocus. Just behind the melting snow line. Snow-less crocus.
There was an apple tree in the yard --
this would have been
forty years ago -- behind,
only meadows. Drifts
of crocus in the damp grass.
I stood at that window:
late April. Spring
flowers in the neighbor's yard.
How many times, really, did the tree
flower on my birthday,
the exact day, not
before, not after? Substitution
of the immutable
for the shifting, the evolving.
Substitution of the image
for relentless earth. What
do I know of this place,
the role of the tree for decades
taken by a bonsai, voices
rising from the tennis courts --
Fields. Smell of the tall grass, new cut.
As one expects of a lyric poet.
We look at the world once, in childhood.
The rest is memory.
-- Louise Gluck
(It's a busy week ahead, tons of student conferences, sorting student entries for our annual dept. literary awards, prep work for my KS research trip, and visiting writers auditioning to captain Prairie Schooner--UNL's national literary journal--into new waters as editor-in-chief. Change is everywhere. Alas, it doesn't come in $100 bills.)