This poem won Honourable mention in the 2010 2-Day Poem Contest
This season, this month
you worry about papers, exams.
You analyze Wordsworth and Byron
and tell me this morning with a voice so solemn
that they both died in April.
Not a note from an Aeolian harp
but the of gurgle of the coffee pot
heralds this proclamation.
Today you document April as the anniversary of dead poets
while I revel in my gardening magazine,
seed catalogues spread across the kitchen table.
My poetry is Kroetsch not Keats—
the measure of the quarter section
bound by barbed wire
rewritten by the plow.
Not the prim order of the English garden
my labyrinth is of lilacs
my thorns of caragana.
No sham ruins but the rusted husk of an old John Deere.
No nightingales but magpies
who slake their hunger on roadside gopher guts.
Come to the garden with me and feel
the grit beneath your nails
damp dirt upon your skin.
Dig in with your scholar’s hands
where feeble sprouts etiolate
under autumn’s ode of decomposing leaves,
where poetry gnaws at the lingering edge of graveled snow—
new bud not yet in leaf
straining to the unseen sun.
Published online June 01 2010.
This poem was a winner in CV2’s annual 2-Day Poem Contest. Every April, CV2 challenges players to create a new original poem that uses all 10 words of our choosing. It’s poetry under pressure for prizes, publication, and personal bests. Learn how to sign up for the next 2-Day Poem Contest.