Ani Gjika




I’m surprised by purple crocuses on the way home

and the farther I look the more they multiply

a kind of secret reunion with family long lost,

relatives whom I welcome in other forms

because it’s Spring, and the weather is full

of arrivals: I see you now, Grandfather –

little storm gathering in the distance;

and you, Nëna – a pink magnolia, the one

on the very top of the tree; welcome robin –

my favorite uncle who wouldn’t shut up;

here’s afternoon, waning slowly, like aunt Pandora

who’d come to visit and wouldn’t leave;

and hello, mother – snail crossing a sidewalk

always there before I take my next step,

but the green grass, that is my father

and on the last day, he’ll cover me.





Maybe this is how I’ll leave one day –

without announcements, because I’m a quiet breed,

and everyone knows, those who arrive early

are always in a hurry. In fact, I’ll leave

so that it seems entirely natural. How do I know?

It’s easy to forget that it was winter a week ago

when the whole ground is suddenly overgrown

with green, when sunlight wheezes loudly

over buttercups. Dragonflies

cast their nets over our lives. The birds

have all gone mad again, they will never listen.



I can hear them having dinner

in their house, across the street.

They have company

and have opened their windows wide

like ours. I hear ladles and spoons

banging on the plates and bowls.

Their son is crying. I can barely see them

through the dusk and this old maple tree

that divides us. I want to tell them something.

I want them to turn their heads

to the window and just as they notice the soft

brown silhouette, I want to hear them

say it: it’s alright, we already know.



“Spring” first appeared in Imagination and Place Anthology: Weather, March 2012.