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