I know that it’s not really spring yet, but it feels like it, and I am also still in the Valentine’s Day mood. So here’s a sonnet I wrote last spring for my wife. Enjoy:
Spring, A Porch Sonnet (8-26-16)
The strawberries are flush with red my love
and sunlight feeds them, soil homes their roots,
the air is light, speaks new words off-the-cuff
about the plants, their yellows, pinks, and blues.
I feel the whole earth swinging back and forth
a happy child kicking off his shoes.
I do not know which season moves you most
which passing stars or colors you find best,
but you are Spring in every shade and song,
you are the thrush’s swoop, the hammock’s rest,
the lazy rocking chair, the open window,
our front porch newly found, newly swept.
Who are you woman, by me like this fan
making me feel wonderful again?
You woke up last night, 4 AM or so
and busied till the sun hopped on in.
I love your busyness, for I am slow,
you’ve crossed the finish line when I begin.
If I’m the turtle hoping for a win
you’re the hare a couple miles ahead—
I’m now distracted by the violin
a tree is playing from the meadow bed.
You double back and lay where I have fled
to nestle with me in the mossy field,
the race long over, your victory unsaid.
Your trophy is not gold, but is revealed
between our speeds, a dawning compromise.
Come back to bed my love, and claim your prize.
You are a yard a few porch steps
a doorway away
from a small bit of dried pork
a warm house
your favorite pillow bed
but you do not come when I call
your snout burrowed in the bottom
of the chain-link fence, nose
pushing up against its loose tie
with the dirt aching forward
digging to slip out
beyond this confined patch
or in the rabble—free
but no freedom is out there
the night is coming
with its chilling winds
howls of coyotes contained
under the moon’s brutal apathy
What god could speak this truth to you?
What language is more seductive
than those hidden grasses?
What limits could match
the night’s low roar?