I just wrote a poem, and then I went in search of something by a poet I like, Maurice Kenny (1929-present). I should have done it the other way around. This poem, “At Rumbles in the Heart,” has more beauty and depth than my lifetime of poems.
I suppose I should be thinking of death
but it is April 20th, Easter
and somewhere, though perhaps not here
in the North Country, crocus
have colored morning and
beckoned negative thoughts to melt
like long winter snows we all
endured without much patience.
Death should be the daily topic
for an aging man but spring
is on the maple bud, the blind kitten
shall see and calves gambol in the barn –
yard surely as vetch purples
and pancakes scent warm kitchens.
It will come on its own one starry night
or afternoon when carrying a load
of heavy books home from college.
Have no fear, it is standing there
waiting for the right moment when your
work has been completed. We
might hope/wish that it hits when
you are kneeling to marigolds,
when the garden has become prolific
in lily and red columbine.
Don’t worry that you don’t give
much thought to death… it knows you’re there.