“The Carrying” by Ada Limón

It has felt like summer this past week – temperatures in the high 80’s, and a humidity that is oppressive. Bowie and the sheep lie very still in the shadiest spots they can find, and gardening tasks require frequent breaks to hydrate and allow one’s shirt to dry. Weeds seem to spring up the moment the beds have been cleared, and all the tulips and daffodils droop, their brilliant colors faded and tired out. The air is heavy with the scent of sweet lilacs, but even they look to be on the verge of glory spent.

But the green is as green as can be, it is lush and varied, intense and soothing. It seems hard to believe that just a few weeks ago all was brown and grey; and, just a few weeks before that, snow was still on the ground. Grey rainclouds are scudding up our valley as I sit here on the porch, taking in the hills and pastures. The cornfield below our bottom pasture has just been plowed and seeded; before long that, too, will be green with growth.

The Carrying by Ada Limón 

More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.

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