Archive for January 14th, 2022

Poetry Friday is with Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading

Last week my students and I unpacked Marge Piercy’s The Late Year. Once we have taken apart and discussed a poem, we write. Sometimes I get a poem out of it. Marge Piercy’s poem begins with “I like Rosh Hashanah late.” I began writing with “I like the New Year,” but quickly realized this is not true for me. I’ve never liked it. I struggle with the idea of forced celebration, especially one that occurs at midnight with lots of violent sound. So I revised. After seeing multiple photos from all around our country of red sunsets, I had to put that into my poem. I am currently raising about 8 monarch caterpillars. This is an uncommon January activity, for sure. It makes my poet-self happy that Marge Piercy’s poem led me to pack all of this into a poem.

The New Year

I’ve never liked the new year
when celebration is forced-fun,
sparklers burn out and become litter.
How browning leaves fall
and frown like an old Muppet-man.
Yet the cardinal still comes to the feeder–
a red flash 
on the morning.

I’ve never liked the new year
with sing-song rhyme, resolutions
point to some sustained semblance
of sanity. Rain comes again
flooding roads with impassable potholes,
tires always need adjusting. 
Yet clouds fire up a sunset
a red reminder to look up
at the end of the day. 

I reluctantly repent in the cold season,
rescue tropical plants and monarch caterpillars. 
I flip through soft notebook pages
of felt-tip words and find
a carousel spinning round again.
A red horse I can choose to ride 
or not. 

Margaret Simon, draft

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