Garden Lament in Spring by Marc Harshman


Red
spreading pools of 
tulips,
valiant, stout soldiers of
deer-food,
a commonwealth of hope
beyond my own that
persists
as snow drifts 
down almost
up
and the grass goes on 
becoming again green
as spring,
whose calendar reads almost
tomorrow,
and so here I try 
singing
its song,
a little out of step, off 
key
but fingers poised, 
ready to open
seed packets,
bright-faced and eager, 
open and ambitious
as the dream
seeds always are, pushing 
through the dark
promises
promising tomorrow to victual the future
and if not
still pushing me on, 
shoulder to the wheel,

looking,
carrying a truce flag 
to the furies, the dry rot,
and, if I must,
to that commonwealth of deer
surrendering
my hopes 
to theirs.




Marc Harshman’s collection of poems, Woman In Red Anorak, won the Blue Lynx Prize and was published in 2018 by Lynx House/University of Washington Press. His fourteenth children’s book, Fallingwater, co-written with Anna Smucker, was published by Roaring Brook/Macmillan in 2017. His poetry collection, Believe What You Can, was published in 2016 by West Virginia University Press and won the Weatherford Award from the Appalachian Studies Association. Periodical publications include The Chariton Review, Appalachian Heritage, Gargoyle, and Shenandoah. Poems have been anthologized by Kent State University, the University of Iowa, University of Georgia, and the University of Arizona. Appointed in 2012, he is the seventh poet laureate of West Virginia.



return to sampler            return to poetry             home