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May 29, 2023

May Day

By Julian O. Long

May Day

My song is done, I must be gone,
I can no longer stay.

Surprised by spring
I mark these signs.

Down from the house wild iris,
lawns rife with bluebonnets—
further along, a stupefied goose
sits in the road as drivers steer.

What if winter had paved us over,
hard as bois d’arc, time had thinned
like a grinning bear asleep in a windless cave?
Gods come and go but do not philosophize,
Nietzsche says. I prefer to think
they study us hopefully,

hoard our weather against absence,
beyond snowmelt fled from our doors,
or leave us wild iris bunched in paper,
love to excess, billion bluebonnets,
print of departure across the grass.

Does this surprise? you ask, your eyes
almost green, best day of my life
already fled from my door, air rife
with your going. I reach for philosophy,
find only yes, oh yes

—find only yes.

from Reading Evening Prayer in an Empty Church

Article © Julian O. Long. All rights reserved.
Published on 2023-05-08
Image(s) are public domain.
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