February 2, 2014 in Features

American Life in Poetry

Ted Kooser U.S. poet laureate, 2004-06
 

This year’s brutal winter surely calls for a poem such as today’s selection, a peek at the inner workings of spring. Susan Kelly-DeWitt lives and teaches in Sacramento.

Apple Blossoms

One evening in winter

when nothing has been enough,

when the days are too short,

the nights too long

and cheerless, the secret

and docile buds of the apple

blossoms begin their quick

ascent to light. Night

after interminable night

the sugars pucker and swell

into green slips, green

silks. And just as you find

yourself at the end

of winter’s long, cold

rope, the blossoms open

like pink thimbles

and that black dollop

of shine called

bumblebee stumbles in.

Poem copyright 2001 by Susan Kelly-DeWitt. Poem reprinted from “To a Small Moth,” Poet’s Corner Press, 2001, by permission of the author and the publisher. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.


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