The Yellow of Forsythia

When winter grows in me

and I stir in the morning at the least word

in anger at what I have done and what my children do

I search and hope for longer days

where the light rings with new life

I yearn for the yellow of forsythia

that blooms beside our house in the silence

of early spring. I yearn for its color

and gain comfort from its perennial change

on course with the earth. For a time

I become transparent, and find happiness.

About this poem—

I wrote this poem two years ago now, and if you’re familiar with Wendell Berry’s “The Peace of Wild Things,” you should see some simllarities. My creative writing class used that poem as inspiration and a model for our own writing, and I encouraged revisions that brought our writing even closer to the original phrasing and punctuation. I’d be remiss, too, if I didn’t mention that this assignment was part of our work with a guest poet, Tracey Gass Ranze, who guided our process and also inspired our writing in her own right. She has collected many years of her poems in a self-published book called Stone Farmer, which is well worth reading.

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