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More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor's almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate sky of Spring rains, it's the greening of the trees that really gets to me. When all the shock of white and taffy, the world's baubles and trinkets, leave the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath, the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin growing over whatever winter did to us, a return to the strange idea of continuous living despite the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then, I'll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I'll take it all.
"It was a hard winter. My whole body raged against it. But right as the world feels uninhabitable, something miraculous happens: the trees come back. I wanted to praise that ordinary thing as a way of bringing myself back too." —Ada Limón
Ada Limón is the author of Bright Dead Things (Milkweed Editions, 2015). She teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte and at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
"I shall forget you presently, my dear (Sonnet IV)" by Edna St. Vincent Millay
"Half-Hearted Sonnet" by Kim Addonizio
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