Violets growing through the asphalt mean
the usual of spring’s predicament:
how, busy getting born, still wings and green
will falter, twist, misgrow their management
and die. Violets grow on one curled leg,
a slender prop obliviously crushed,
and newborn birds are falling from their eggs,
still feathered wet and hidden in the brush
when you walk by. They die in spite of us;
in shoebox nests and jelly jars supplied
with best intentions. Bring them in the house,
then fuss, arrange things, feed them. Occupy
yourself with worms and eyedroppers, sunlight
and potting earth. You’ll bury them in days,
feel silly in your grief. And still you’ll sit
a moment on the blacktop, study ways
to save an unimportant, pretty weed
or bird. You’re still a fool –a fool to bend
so sentimentally and fool in deed,
assuming you know better. Spring is kind.
Copyright © 1995 Erin Belieu
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.