I’ve posted this poem before on this blog, but not for many years. This year I need signs of renewal and hope more than ever, so I walked down to the yard where Helen lived. Her house and barn are gone. The family dairy herd was sold in the 90’s. The greenhouse fell into disrepair and was finally taken down many years ago. But the crocuses are shooting up all over her former yard, like very year.
Earlier than we dare to hope
for any native color beyond
the hard buds of maples sheening
the hills with faint rose, the cupped
crocuses shoot up yellow,
purple, white — orange hearts
studding Helen’s front yard.
Helen was a loose farmer — what bloomed
bloomed wherever; greenhouse customers
left notes and payment
clothespin-clipped to a board
by the broken door; eggs were sold
from an old refrigerator propped outside,
cartons stacked next to the change box.
So when the blood blossomed
in her brain as she drove to pick up
pig scraps from a restaurant,
she just pulled to the shoulder, planted
her foot on the brake and waited.
Twenty seasons later, hardy and startlingly
new, here again, her crocuses.