National Poetry Month

Geoffrey G. O'Brien

You can tell by the facile daffodils

And many bans on gender-
Affirming care that spring is here.

It is successful, it succeeds,

No resistance to the calendar.

A miracle the day can hold

All the struck past of weather.

Then things get complicated.

The yellow has melancholy

Loose within it, and green

Takes back the perimeter.

With all the invisible growth

On hand, you feel a mania

Came and went overnight

Or remains as fragrance.

Health and illness, illness and health,

In time-lapse photography

There’s not much difference.

The average of shock and pleasure

Is shock. At least you’re here,

Full of a spirited vulnerability

Sheltered by the forecast,

Holding a dying hyacinth

In your arms, reading people

Who want to pretend otherwise.

Geoffrey G. O'Brien is the author, most recently, of Experience in Groups. He works as a Professor of English at UC Berkeley.
Originally published:
April 10, 2024


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