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Poet's Choice: 'Chives' by Jody Gladding

By Jody Gladding
Sunday, August 9, 2009

Though I've lived in north central Vermont for over 20 years, I've only recently come to appreciate how the summers, even more than the winters, shape us here. There are fewer than 90 days between the last spring and first fall frost. I've seen snow in every summer month. Today it's 50 degrees, and I'm wearing a sweater and warm socks as I write this. But "Chives" isn't a weather report. It's a celebration of the bright surprise of summer, sharpened by the arrival of summer neighbors who wake us to it. Really, "Chives" could be reduced to a little bunch of exclamation points!

(Editor's note: To see this poem laid out correctly on paper or on your screen, click the Print button in the Toolbox.)

Chives

between

the slow dying

green

the difficult birth

there is this green

GREEN!

the summer!

house thrust open

the pollinators' return

.

between

winter just past

hollow

winter looming

pointed

we rise from our cramped beds

in suspended disbelief

.

to people

the generous myth of summer!

its acrid largess

.

"Chives" appears in "Rooms and Their Airs," recently published by Milkweed Editions.

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