At last we are near
breaking the season, shedding
our coats, the gray husk
of winter. Each tree
trembles with new leaves, tiny
blossoms, the flashy
dress of spring. I am
aware now of its coming
as I’ve never been—
the wet grass throbbing
with crickets, insistent, keen
as desire. Now,
I feel what trees must—
budding, green sheaths splitting—skin
that no longer fits.
Here, it is April and we are near / breaking the season, winter’s breath still chilling the days’ beginnings and endings. I have shed my winter parka though I oscillate erratically from heavier to lighter spring jackets. Each tree trembles with new leaves, though in truth, most of those leaves are still well tucked into their protective wraps, the flashy / dress of spring still in our imaginations.
I am / aware now of its coming / as I’ve never been. Though there are obvious outward signs, like birdsong and streetsweepers and bright flashes of crocus, it’s more a feeling, a sensation in the body that tells me we are moving into a new season, new possibilities, insistent, keen / as desire.
Finally, the poet invites us into the experience of being a tree, budding, green sheaths splitting – our bodies opening to the new growth of spring, sap rising, stepping out of our winter bodies, skin / that no longer fits. What tree would you like to be? What is yearning to break into leaf?
P.S. If you are wondering about the date in the title, it comes from a 2002 collection of Trethewey’s poems titled Bellocq’s Ophelia. This poem has been written in haiku stanzas of 5-7-5 which sadly I was not able to reproduce here, but thought you would be interested to know.
8 thoughts on “March 1912 by Natasha Trethewey”
Beautiful! Love the ending. The title had my mind searching for historical events, as if this new freedom also indicated something like the end of a war, but of course that was later. Thank you for such inspiration!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yes, the title got me searching for its genesis, fascinating. Happy spring budding to you! xoxo
Might snow on Saturday. Just sayin’. 😉
“Skin that no longer fits”. Oh, this, Jan! That hits me right in the heart. A new mantra. I don’t need to continue wearing the one that doesn’t fit. I’m not sure that I’ve found one yet that completely fits, but still I can discard the old one and continue trying until I find one that feels comfortable.
Thank you, dear Jan!
I’ll try to ignore the snowcast 🙂 A new mantra – a skin that no longer fits!! Keep on trying on new ones 🙂 xoxo
LikeLiked by 1 person
Lovely, Jan! I have been enjoying watching our Ash tree in the front and chipmunk rumbles in the back – Spring certainly is transformative, you have put me on some “excavation” to discern my own shedding – many thanks!
Love your ‘chipmunk rumbles’, certainly we can borrow their energy! Thanks Maureen xoxo
Lovely vivid images, and so interesting to learn about the haiku form. As always, thank you, dear Jan!
Yes, I so wish I could have shown the form but I just couldn’t get the program to agree with me 😦 thanks Mary Lou. xoxox