Tayu with Phoenix Robe, 19th c.




Nothing is so beautiful as spring.

The mud sucks up the filthy snow
and swallows. From the shrunken mass
the bus-stop beer cans crown and grow.
A season’s meanness dots the grass.
We wait; we wait. The weather breaks.
It heaves the bones of old mistakes:

Where gulls pick trash from parking lots
and dandelions brood the seed
set to subvert our garden plots,
we pick our poisons weed by weed
and plan. We plan; we never learn
these are the tricks the seasons turn

while down the alleys’ potholed lines,
through muscled-open windows come
the mower-motors’ manic whines
and street rods at the stoplight hum
hard vices in their deepest throats,
decades-old discordant notes,

menace we never quite forget.
We wait. We are not younger yet.