a return to the strange idea of continuous living despite the mess of us

Instructions for these days, and for all days. I could have filled this entire month with selections by one of my favorite contemporary poets, Ada Limón. If you have a moment after you read this one, I recommend you explore some of her other incredible poems I’ve posted over the years.

jasmine.jpg
Neighborhood walks, spring 2020. Photo by me.

“Instructions on Not Giving Up”

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.

from The Carrying 

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