Joyce Compton Brown

Wild Goose Poetry Review, No 34, Spring 2018


SPRING CHILL

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees…
‘Sailing to Byzantium’
W.B. Yeats

An awful lot of old people
die in April, Rudy said.
April’s a hard month.
Well, why wait till April?
I said. The goldfinches are
in glory on our feeders,
the Boston ferns are hanging
on porches, and wrens are nesting
in their fronds. Swallowtails are
dancing on the pale and fragrant
lilacs, and we can sit out on the porch.

Seems like April just goes back and
forth, rain and chill, heat and breeze,
back and forth, nothing steady,
Rudy argues. And already I see
my cousin speaks truth,
though his university
has been the family farm,
his text the ancient stories
of fathers and mothers,
tombstones studied
on Sunday afternoons,
damp canopies sheltering
recitation of liturgies,
the knowing that warm bones chill,
old oaks fall in spring storms,


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