Already the bulbs croon
the silent damp,
the edge of spring
not days from here, land
of the thin green necks that sprout
before the last white morning—
because, of course, it will come.
Helpless in another silence,
my father-in-law stargazes
the iris of his eightieth spring,
asks for coffee to glaze
the reruns from the History Channel,
grunts at the goldfinch sock
he reminds is empty—
and having no earth,
angles his good leg to the door
where, in a fit of declaration,
lights a cigarette to defy spring,
to stand among the bulbs
however lithe his stem
this Lenten Sunday.
Shaun T. Griffin is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Woodsmoke, Wind, and the Peregrine, 2008. He recently completed editing a book of essays on the late poet and critic, Hayden Carruth: From Sorrow’s Well. He runs a non-profit organization in northern Nevada.