Monday, March 8, 2010

flour's still in the bin

absence before presence

down here in the South
we’ve gotten used to short visits from Winter,
maybe a long weekend,
or most of a week,
Winter like a factory worker
who has to get back to his regular job up North,

this year the cold has settled in as if to stay,
snows keep coming and linger on the ground,

it’s early March for a planned trip to the Smokies,
and I tell a friend up there I hope to see flowers,
and he retorts that I’ll have to bring ‘em with me
if I hope to see ‘em,
sure enough flurries dog my drive,
a dusting of snow covers much of the ground
when I get there,
only some hearty leaves thrust up through it
to hint that stasis is temporary,
the back end of yesterday’s storm
confetties flurries onto me into the evening,

this year we can’t sneak into the kitchen and taste the cooking,
there are no appetizers,
there aren’t even any smells to tantalize us,
the flour is still in the bin,
when Spring is ready to serve itself
we will appreciate each taste
as if we’re breaking a fast,
for as religion after religion knows
we need to give ourselves to an absence
and then we can appreciate the presence,

as snow flakes lightly tickle my face
with my eyes I see a stark landscape,
a canvas ready for color
to blur its lines
and flowers to glory us with subtlety.

by Henry Walker
March 3, ’10

1 comment:

Bill said...

Gawd it must be beautiful up there right now.