A couple months ago, I wrote a poem about sitting outside on a glorious, summer Sunday morning. I called it “Sunday Morning.”
This week while organizing my filing cabinet, I discovered an old poem I wrote around 1996. Guess what it was called? “Sunday Morning.”
I see so many similarities between these two poems, and it kinda freaks me out. Has my inner landscape changed so little in sixteen years? No wonder I still feel twenty-something!
I will share both of these poems with you this morning . . . this Sunday morning Outside the Box.
SUNDAY MORNING (2012)
Outside, the pollen drops
from the trees, and dew
sparks tiny fires in the grass.
Shadows and heat
play tug of war
on the lawn while a lone
madrigal, solitary musician,
lights the air with sharp,
clear notes. The branches
of beech trees are lines on a page
and the bird’s song rides
up and down–
earnest, imperative composition.
“Find me, please, find me;
I am here, see, I am here, here, here.”
The dog pants hot on the porch.
A hummingbird sips
from the buds of pink Salvia
in the garden box.
I write while the others sleep
tucked into upstairs bedrooms.
SUNDAY MORNING (1996)
The faint whisper of some inner voice
left over from childhood
like dislike of beets
tells me I should be, oh, somewhere
in church nodding with the pious
over a particularly strong invective
from the pulpit
or else joining in a thunderous “AMEN!”
meant to shake the devil
from my very soul; I ache
instead to plunge wrist-deep
into this potting soil;
damp, dirt smell filling my nostrils,
sliding over my skin
like a caress
or a good baptism.
I worship these newborn flowers
with earth I tamped around them
and leaves still damp
from the fecund humidity of the greenhouse.
Infant pansies not yet come to bud
and flushed-pink impatiens
the color of a baby’s mouth.
Geraniums, dianthus, basil.
Lettuce leaves frill against the tiny
white-lace blossoms I cannot name.
One of the cats stalks
among the flower pots, sniffs
from each one delicately
before settling down for a wash.
I try to clear my head
of voices that can wait
This is my Sunday morning
spent with many flowers and one wish–
to write my quiet moments into existence
before moving on to other worlds.