Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Audre Lorde on gardening in winter

A few weekends ago I was looking for some guidance/wisdom about joy & sorrow, love in the face of what's happening in Gaza and the world right now.  And I happened to open The Black Unicorn to this page, to this poem that I'd never read before.  Look...
Love, noah

Walking Our Boundaries
Audre Lorde

This first bright day has broken
the back of winter.
We rise from war
to walk across the earth
around our house
both stunned that sun can shine so brightly
after all our pain
Cautiously we inspect our joint holding.
A part of last year’s garden still stands
one tough missed okra pod clings to the vine
a parody of fruit cold-hard and swollen
one rotting shingle
is becoming loam.

I take your hand beside the compost heap
glad to be alive and still
with you
we talk of ordinary articles
with relief
while we peer upward
each half-afraid
there will be no tight buds started
on our ancient apple tree
so badly damaged by last winter’s storm
it does not pay to cherish symbols
when the substance
lies so close at hand
waiting to be held
your hand
falls off the apple bark
like casual fire
along my back
my shoulders are dead leaves
waiting to be burned
to life.

The sun is watery warm
our voices
seem too loud for this small yard
too tentative for women
so in love
the siding has come loose in spots
our footsteps hold this place
as our place
our joint decisions make the possible
I do not know when
we shall laugh again
but next week
we will spade up another plot
for this spring’s seeding.

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