Today's poem is by Eleanor Rand Wilner

Everything is Starting

The snow is filthy now; it has been
drinking oil and soot and car exhaust
for days, and dogs have marked it
with their special brand of brilliant
yellow piss;
                   for a week after it fell,
the snow stood in frozen horror
at the icy chill, and hardened
on the top, and then, today, the thaw:
now everything is starting
up again—
                 the traffic flows, the place
where dogs pause, and sniff, becomes,
once more, invisible to us, and in
the gutters of our streets, a minor Nile
floods from the old drifts into the gasping
drains; even the sewers are jubilant
in the rush that foretells spring; the rats
dance along the pipes;
                                   on all the trees,
the buds push against the sealed bark,
as if against the tight containment
of the past,
                  while deep in the Florida Keys,
along some slow canal, the manatees roll
heavily in the dark stream, the way that sleepers
slowly turn in dream, and the cranes look
up, unrolling their long necks, possessed
by restlessness just before
they fly...
                light-years away, beyond the veils
of the Milky Way, out at the red edge
of creation, where everything is
always starting: there—a memory
shifts and gathers itself once more:
a memory of the time (if time it can
be called) when all that is the matter,
or all that matter is, is drawn into
one place, as if into a single thought,
and (unimaginable) ignites,
shattering the ageless night in which
the cosmos only dreamed,
and in the oldest memory
                                      (of which I think
we have a share)
it was an endlessly unfolding flower
of fire—the rose of light that Dante
saw, its afterimage in the soul.
And from that flower, the seeds
of all the galaxies were
             now, in our own the snow recedes,
the buds will shatter the end
of every twig—as everything is
starting up again—the crocus pokes
its purple, furled, above the thawing
              and when the local ember
of that first fiery bloom, our sun, touches
its silk with light, it will unfurl,
in perfect silence—unlike us, jubilant
and noisy, who never were the point,
but still delight in being
the sole narrators, upstarts of the dawn.

Copyright © 2004 Eleanor Rand Wilner All rights reserved
from The Girl with Bees in Her Hair
Copper Canyon Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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