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!

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the slow dying


the difficult birth

there is this green


the summer!

house thrust open

the pollinators' return



winter just past


winter looming


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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