An April Wet
April makes a cold call.
The sun is not involved.
Drizzle on the birds’ backs
and flowers opening unwillingly.
The roof repeats something it heard
spoken back in February.
Trees spread their soppy boughs
with nothing to show for it.
The woman at the window
watches grass grow just enough
to make it worth the maggots while.
Her husband appreciates the nothingness
for what it is,
an incessant, slow breakup of the clouds,
a dimming of the view from anywhere.
On a flight of stairs,
the children fight over the next raindrop.
The baby leans out of its hunger
to bawl enough to wake the dead.
April is gray and rotting.
About the Author: John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.
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Image Credit: Claude Monet “Landscape at Giverny” (1887) Public Domain
Letter to April
Thank you for new life,
Your shy trilliums shoot through woodsy
soil—floral tri-foils spreading their own kind
of faith, hope, and charity; a rapid burst
of phacelia—frilled snowflakes in a gorge
of green—mountains’ awakening; redbud
and yellow crocus sprouting with spring-rain
rainbows promising joy, but your adornment
doesn’t soften the hard truths of roses or make
the graveyards full of columbines any prettier.
John C. Mannone has poems appearing/accepted in the 2020 Antarctic Poetry Exhibition, North Dakota Quarterly, The Menteur, Blue Fifth Review, Poetry South, Baltimore Review, and others. His poetry won the Impressions of Appalachia Creative Arts Contest (2020). He was awarded a Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and served as celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). His latest of three collections, Flux Lines: The Intersection of Science, Love and Poetry, is forthcoming from Linnet’s Wings Press (2020). He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other journals. A retired physics professor, he lives near Knoxville, Tennessee. http://jcmannone.wordpress.com
Image Credit: “Larger White Tillium” from How to know the wild flowers (1893) Image Courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library