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In summer the song sings itself

                                    Brian Simoneau


We must tease it out from every surface in winter,
must shovel-scrape asphalt, push the blizzard-drift
aside, slide, scuff, lift and flip, must free up space for feet, breath
rising in huffs and puffs the flakes keep falling through, piling
faster than thoughts of the infinite flee our feeble grasp,
the before and after this-the-only-life-we-know impossible
to conceive, the mind-at-work freezing even as flesh
heats itself on quickened pulse, pounding heartbeat—
and here we get back to the sidewalk-search for song, somehow
gone astray and the song still far off, so we must focus back
on snowfall through breath, shovel tip scraping, scratching
lawn-edge, letting loose leaf-rot and flash of green, grime
of mud, sterile field of winter smudged, suddenly death
or life or something in between appearing, another season
showing itself too soon, the earth not nearly far enough along
to grant another spring its start, another grace its birth,
but there it is, a glimpse of what we’re hardly aware
we’re looking for, trying to tease out, get to the bottom of, so
we must look, longing, lick it maybe, lap it up, plunge
down, dig bottomlessly, split the frigid ground and hope
to hit bedrock, bust it open, break it in pieces and bring it up
by bucketloads, big break-in, making our own way, earth
opened up and admitting us into a womb where summer
and the song that sings itself exist untouched by this cold,
until all of it, warmth and the song we seek, works
its way back up to the surface and sprinkles decay
among the snow, decay and life, life and decay really two sides
of the same one-way street, fertile soil piling up now,
mittened hands hard at work, shovel tossed aside, then
our mittenless hands ripping up snow and soil and song
by fistfuls, fitful effort to grasp what we find before getting
back to what we haven’t and suspect we must keep searching for.


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