It’s early for irises, Stanley. But today
daffodils are shouting yellow and white calls
to me from my garden, “Come outside!
Leave that poem for tonight! Touch blooms!”
Maybe it was you, Stanley, calling me.
At the garden edges, the volunteer seedlings
grow on their own despite my human
weeding deliberations at order, symmetry and control.
Thankfully not reliably identical to their parents.
Volunteers try modestly to change the world.
I went out to feel the equinox.
I raked leaves away from young shoots,
and connected the hose, washed away mud
until the walkway was clear. I wasn’t
gone long, but my coffee was cold.
but you spend this Sunday with me,
on the October garden bench reading poems
from your small hand-sewn fascicles, never published,
but for here and now, where God
preaches and the sermon is never long.
This poem recalls – and borrows lines – from Emily Dickinson, whose poems I was reading this morning.
Emily Dickinson, poet of the interior life, poems,written quietly in a room of her own, often hand-stitched in small volumes, then hidden in a drawer, died without fame, only a few poems were published in her lifetime, then published with words altered by editors or publishers according to the fashion of the day.
The volume I’m reading, The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition, has 1,789 poems with Dickinson’s spelling, punctuation, and capitalization intact.