These are the first lines of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh, a poem in nine books which was particularly beloved of Emily Dickinson. I’m just diving in to my copy, an 1884 printing of the 1859 text. This quote strikes me, a professional copywriter who is ever writing for others, as a lovely, selfish thought. That is what my fiction is–writing for me, for my better self.
My roses are mostly pink…
…but why miss an opportunity to share some lovely Robert Burns with you?
Spring is a time for poetry. And so I share with you what I wrote this morning.
One Morning in March
It is March,
and the white sky
seeks to remind us of it,
hunching low over the bare treetops
like a fog.
Yet this day we recall
that we did not
settle upon a glacier
or the icy moon Europa,
but upon earth.
brown and bored,
peeks from beneath
the serrated grimaces of soiled snowbanks,
so reluctant to give any ground
Traffic lanes and parking spots
we had forgotten
grow at the margins of this white world
like the black beaches of some volcanic island
of the ice storm emerges
like an ancient ruined metropolis.
Oh, yes, we say,
I remember that storm.
Only the snow made me forget.
I pick up the keys
I dropped in the driveway—
the first dirt
to work its way into under my fingernails
the dog’s muddy prints
on the kitchen floor
don’t raise my ire.
I don’t sigh and say, “Sasha!”
as I might have.
We shake ourselves awake
at the birds.
That’s right, we say
There are birds.
I know that our glorious three-day warm up is done and freezing temps are back, but the incredible wind today puts me in mind of this hopeful poem from Robert Frost…
To the Thawing Wind
Come with rain, O loud Southwester!
Bring the singer, bring the nester;
Give the buried flower a dream;
Make the settled snow-bank steam;
Find the brown beneath the white;
But whate’er you do to-night,
Bathe my window, make it flow,
Melt it as the ice will go;
Melt the glass and leave the sticks
Like a hermit’s crucifix;
Burst into my narrow stall;
Swing the picture on the wall;
Run the rattling pages o’er;
Scatter poems on the floor;
Turn the poet out of door.
My new writing goal is to finish the first draft by the first day of spring, March 20th. Think of it–we are just one month away from the equinox. Not that will mean anything for the weather…
When I was a child with elastic skin
I sat in the bathroom
and wondered at my mother’s eyelids
stretched into narrow fissures of flesh
by a finger at the corner
then traced with a brown pencil.
Now my son builds imaginary worlds
in the other room
unaware that I am looking in a mirror
stretching my eyelids into fissures of flesh
with a finger at the corner
and tracing them with a brown pencil.