Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today's poem by Grace Paley

A Walk in March

This hill
crossed with broken pines and maples
lumpy with the burial mounds of
uprooted hemlocks (hurricane
of ’38) out of their
rotting hearts generations rise
trying once more to become
the forest

just beyond them
tall enough to be called trees
in their youth like aspen a bouquet
of young beech is gathered

they still wear last summer’s leaves
the lightest brown almost translucent
how their stubbornness has decorated
the winter woods

on this narrow path ice tries
to keep the black undecaying oak leaves
in its crackling grip it’s become
too hard to walk at last a
sunny patch oh! i’m in water
to my ankles APRIL

Grace Paley
(1922 – 2007)

Beech leaves this last day of March


  1. What a fine poem with that funny -- and appropriate -- twist at the end (at least in Oregon it sure would be appropriate).

    Happy new month.

  2. She really captured April, didn't she? I know Nora, Grace's daughter, but never got to meet her. I wish I had.

  3. Sallie, Ann, JoAnn, and Sarah, I thank you for reading the poem and taking the time to leave a note. I'm always particularly pleased when readers of my letters like the poems I post. I so love poetry. Sarah, if you come back - Grace Paley was supposed to be at the Frost Place reading which I wrote about here:

    It was announced that she was ill, and in fact died just a few weeks later.


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