all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Thursday, November 06, 2008

clover


























It grew, without intervention, in the front yard,
despite the less-than-fertile soil, despite the first
unexpectedly arid weeks of autumn, despite the garden’s
dangerous proximity to a litter-strewn street,
despite dog droppings and sticky sap, despite
telephone wires and a carpet of fallen foliage left
to rot and disappear into obsolescence.

And yet, unaided, unwatched, untended,
the clover insisted, answering this spectacular neglect
with a steady, steely patience, waiting
for a rare rain or the fickle generosity
of a stranger emptying the last inches from an old water bottle.

So now, November, and an anachronism of spring
has sprung. What was barren has entered into the thick
of an immaculate conception. Something fleshy is on the verge,
sprouting its bright green wings.

I don’t know how long you will stay close,
warming my skin with yours, breathing into me
your moist and swirling air.
But I am certain that even this brief oxygen
will be enough.

4 comments:

Jess said...

this is incredible. your words are perfect.
i especially love "spectacular neglect".
you seem to choose your adjectives carefully and deliberately, and it makes all the difference.

sweetsalty kate said...

Is it completely bizarre that all I can think of to say is 'pretty, and nutritious'? But really, that's the truth of how I feel to read your words - so much of what's out there can be pretty, and so much of it can be worthy and good for you and soul-feeding somehow, but not much is both. You're both.

Dave said...

That's a great poem, but I believe the plant in your photo is wood sorrel - I'm guessing European wood sorrel, Oxalis europea - not clover. Non-native species typically green-up and flower on different schedules, since they evolved in different climates.

ConverseMomma said...

I would like to think of my own writing as clover, my blog as such, and that it will survive, with patience, with faith. With women like you to remind me of all that is good.