Douglas Woodsum

Three Answers In Spring

1. Resurrection
The corpses rise and challenge, coaxing me
To rise, and, though I like spring, I hate this
Constant rotting and rejuvenation
Of flesh. The roots of the apple tree grip
The long buried heart, and when the bees buzz
Around the buds, it’s like flies feeding on
Carrion. I’ve accepted the formal
Attire of trees, so quiet and neat
At the parties in December, and now
This loud leafiness and those birds shacking
Up and singing from dawn to dusk about
Lust. I’ve been happy inside and alone.
Now my heart begins to beat visibly
And I must let it out to find more room.
2. Dumb Animals
A cock pheasant has been staking his claim
On my turf with a harsh voice that wakes me
Each morning at 6:15, and if my foul
Mood continues, he’ll not mate, but meet his
Maker after a shotgun wedding, twelve
Gauge style. Yes, it’s spring and the animals
Are courting, mating, building homes with such
Ease, so naturally, it makes me think
If I was a muskrat, there’d be more love
More luck, more lust in my life. I’m so smart
I’ve talked myself out of suicide ten
Times, but I wish I was dumb, mute, primal.
I wish it was all in the eyes or in
A shake of tail. I’m the muskrat; love me.
3. Spring Profanity
The day I saw two foxes copulate
On the beach, I noticed the grass, at last,
Was turning green. Rosehips, pecked to broken
Shells, hung like thin, wrinkled skulls, mute remnants,
Husks pillaged for seeds in the war of the birds
Against the slow drying, slow dying fruit,
The war fought always in winter for love,
For the simple trophy of making love
In spring. Those robins there on the lawn fuck
In a flurry of feathers, and the word
Fuck feels right on the back of the tongue, against the roof
Of the mouth. My hard teeth rest on my soft
Lip, and I write to you asking how your
Battle is going; when will you come home?

Douglas Woodsum
Three Answers In Spring first appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Vol 40, #3.
Poem, copyright © 2005 by Douglas Woodsum
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse