Listen to May

spiderwortThe cruelty of April which lingers
In a late deadening frost, in the fragile
Breaking of stem, the flood that uproots,
Is finally no match for that herald
Of warm wildflower season—May.

May says to you, Wind this bright ribbon
Around the pole, hang this flower basket
From your neighbor’s doorknob, toast
Your mother’s life and remember the dead,
Celebrate cinco-style all birth and burial.

May warns, Beware of ignoring the poetry
Of spiderwort in cemeteries, the chance
Call from a lost friend, the unanswered question
Your father spoke to you in a dream or
At the car door, the jagged spell of rock crevice.

Believe in May apples colonizing ruined places
And the rains populating the life ahead.
Believe in the eternity of bee swarm
Arcing away from cruel earth and trailing
Us into the subtle madness of the fifth month.

–Shaun Perkins

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