Taller, Wider

I love this poem. It might be one of my favorites:

Taller, Wider

What is it I feel: this odd fusion

of elation and sadness that makes me

stop weeding and stand this way, hands

on hips, knee-deep in lavendar?

The air, zealous with aromas

and swirls of bees, lisps in the breeze.

The willow I planted by the pond

five years ago in May, no longer

needs that stake I hammered

deep in the dense, moist clay. It sways,

strokes the water with nimble limbs,

and will grow fuller still–taller, wider.

Bouncing off the granite

back of Sainte-Victoire, the dull

timbre of church bells. A quiet noon.

My hands sting with nettles and dirt.

On my wrist, the bracelet

love locked around it, long ago,

on a winter night. A wilted leaf

now caught between its links–

I leave it there: I am learning happiness.

~Laure-Anne Bosselaar

“Small Gods of Grief”

I’m always hoping to be “learning happiness” this way. I’ve met Laure-Anne, had dinner with her, and heard her read, and she is such a lovely person. As evidenced in some of her poems, and by talking with her, she has had a tremendous amount of grief in life, and yet, she reminds me that like Joy Gresham told C.S. Lewis, the pain is a part of the happiness.

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