© 2012 by Ellin Anderson
Watching the white-hot light of May
Fall like a sheet of burning glass
On the white trees, I turned away,
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,
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
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,
Banked with a mass of scorching briar —
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 —
Like a cathedral's broken clock
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.