April Reeks of Poetry

DSC01705And then it was April, National Poetry Month. . . . the month of death breeding life, of life kicking off death’s pants, of daffodils and tulips and redbud trees and mockingbirds that sing incessantly, of the cradle endlessly rocking, the day endlessly alive with hope and warmer wind, of white legs and squinting, bees gearing up for the feast to come.

And when it was April, the rust was being shaken off the grills, the pathways swept and raked and replenished, the fools being had, the rain conducted by clouds and little boys and ducks dancing on the edges of ponds filling with algae, cherry blossoms, willow legs, and tribal insects, the day a possibility of blue joy, the night see-through.

Come again, April, come again, April, she said in the dreams of her childhood, in the hill on a rock shaded by oaks and mulberries and a thorny tree out of a nightmare but real, right there along the fencerow, crowding out the barbed wire, making it become a part of it, like April does, making you become something else, making you a thing half-feared.

April with its mud like shit, its tulips like red-gold crowns for wood nymphs, its unbearable mutability—Shall I thunder? Shall I cry? Shall I mildly ignore this day? Shall I strangle the fledglings in their nests? Shall I burn another season into your skin? Shall I decide I am not ready after all, not ready at all to be near, present, visible . . . vulnerable?

In no other month is poetry as vivid as in April, the month of school shootings and fertilizer bombs, of hills like crushed mints sprinkled with dogwood trees, of dropouts and delinquency, asparagus sprouts and fields of tiny violets smelling of the first girl you ever loved, of the brilliant gurgle of a rain-fed creek and the kiss of ruin and pulse.

Love it and hate it. Celebrate it no matter what.

–Shaun Perkins

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