Bio Note: I am a longtime editor, slowly publishing poet, and author of six picture books, including From Apple Trees to Cider, Please! and The Boy Who Said Nonsense (Albert Whitman & Company). In 2018 I moved away from the masthead of an academic quarterly to work with people who want to share their stories, ideas, and poems in print. It’s been a joy—and quite an adventure.
Wind whispers and porch flags undulate. The ShopRite daffodils stabled in a tumbler on my desk have turned their yellow pony faces toward the sluggish sun. My mind a morning nest, I stand and sip, watching mid-March tease in breaths that puff or gust across the wide-eyed window panes. A crisp brisk jolt provokes the flags. They stiffen and relax. Neighbors jog or whoosh in work-bound cars. The school bus stops, collects the boisterous backpacked gaggle bundled up against the breeze freed mothers lift their chins into while shiver-strolling back to rewarmed coffee and a precious span of peace. In sudden burst some birds proclaim true spring is on the move. They only need to sing it once. The sun, at last alert, takes over like the crossing guard we thought retired but shows up, eager neon, fit for duty.
It relieves the heart to simplify. A clarifying wind and chimes to cheer: This is what an open window does, especially in April. Grass awakens. Grass awakens. It relieves the heart to simplify, especially in April. This is what an open window does: A clarifying wind and chimes to cheer. Especially in April, this is what an open window does. Grass awakens. A clarifying wind and chimes to cheer. It relieves the heart to simplify.
It’s nearly May, but the upper northeast is now expecting ice and snow. From waterlogged Louisiana the chatty Weather Channel reports on a case of climate refugees: an entire flooding town will be removed to higher ground. Two miles over, ten feet up is all it takes—plus federal funds. The program head is interviewed. He says in sum, “We’ll see what works and learn from our mistakes what doesn’t.” Ah, I think, he made that sound so easy. A vision of my in-laws’ grassy Manville lot appears, their home, a tiny cape, now memory. How many floods, how many cleanups does it take to get a stubborn people going? Four risky years next door was what it took for us, but in the end, we were lucky soggy passers-through—for you cannot discount the root and grip of clinging onto something blood and sweat and tear-soaked of your own.
©2020 Felicia Sanzari Chernesky
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell her or him. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL