Cold Spring
2012 by Ellin Anderson

Ellin Anderson

Watching the white-hot light of May
Fall like a sheet of burning glass
On the white trees, I turned away,
Never consoled,
While the rich green of leaf and grass
Drenched me with cold.
Like a familiar lullaby,
Spring made the somber shadows run;
Morning to night, the gentle sky,
Regally blue,
Whirled on the pivot of the sun,
And the days grew.
Leaf-buds unfolded, easing doubt;
Blossoms crocheted a canopy
As for a cradle, blocking out
Hard slant of light,
Thundering from the apogee,
Fatally bright —
Threadbare, because the wind began
Scattering petals on the ground;
Delicate, and more transient than
Too-early flower,
Or waves too small to make a sound,
Or spring snow-shower.
Flown, like the bee who found my glove,
Rested a moment, and was gone,
Flecking it with the saffron of
Lacy-winged sailor, balanced on
Shading my face, I saw it rise
Over the trees, and disappear
At the blind place that made my eyes
Two stinging coals,
Sharing between them one salt tear —
Light of pure souls!
Late in the day, a hazy hood
Covered the trees, foretelling fire —
Incense for angels: apple-wood,
Smoldering spice,
Banked with a mass of scorching briar —
The sacrifice.
Now the pale comets droop and wane.
Apples of gold and cinnabar
Ripen beneath the heavy rain.
Soon, as before,
Shell of a brittle five-point star
Blooms at the core.
When they have gone past ripening,
Crows will descend, the ragged flock
Drunk on the fruit, and staggering —
Oddly obscene,
Like a cathedral's broken clock
Chiming thirteen.
At the first quickening of the year,
Past the old season's tragedies,
Locked in a dream, I wandered here,
While freezing air
Swept leaf and petal from the trees,
Leaving them bare.

2012 by Ellin Anderson. All rights reserved. No part of  this work may be copied or used in any way without written  permission from the author.




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