Friday, February 24, 2012

The Most Huge Yes

I must have been four years old, out for an armload of wildflowers
-daisies, mallow flowers, phlox.
Elsie and I sat on a rock  to rest in the shade of the gnarled apple tree.
“Oh World, I cannot hold thee close enough!” cried Elsie, my Tante,
and on and on, poems by memory,
astounding my young ears with the bigness, the width of life beyond my ken.
Dickinson, Heine, Goethe, Millay,
-all fair game to Elsie’s keen mind and deep delight.
What is the world? She answered for me,
just a hint of what was to come, what could be, beyond the now.
I gazed at her above me,
and walked home with her, my arms full of flowers,
my little hand in hers.
And now, many years have passed.
My Tante is ninety-seven, but still, poems sprout from her lips,
and she, with her searching mind, evokes them from me as well.
“Prithee, let no bird call!”
We happen into a field, wild with flowers,
daisies, phlox, a wild quilt of color.
Thrice we return, picking armloads of wildflowers,
holding, holding, ever loving this life, unwilling to let go.
This divine charge we accepted so long ago
just to love this, just to live this,
eyes wide as daisy petals, enveloped in earthly scents,
knee-deep in colors,
just this most huge Yes.

Annelinde Metzner
May 2011

Listen to Annelinde reading "The Most Huge Yes":

Tante Elsie at ninety-seven

Elsie’s garden

Drove up to Elsie’s garden, my head in the radio,
counting measures and checking forms.
I raise my eyes just to park and...
Jolted into Eden, an ecstasy of brilliant color, like a cold slap I’m awakened.
These Irises (the eyes?) are a queen’s purple, a ransom of gold,
fringed, bearded, double ruffled about their delicate mouths,
waiting lush as Sheba.
Lemon yellow bearded coral, glacier white fringed,
with a calligraphy of magenta.
Rust-red and egg-yolk yellow.
I gain my breath, and big tears, here at Elsie’s garden.
Tante, at ninety-two, fosters this ecstasy of color,
and scent of peony, double, triple, magenta, snow!
Knowing I must go knock and enter at the door,
I breathe deep, remembering, remembering the grace of my DNA,
the colors, the purple, saying “This is me,”
coming off the highway.  “This is also me”, my old Tante in her garden,
pulling a true miracle of flowers from the unsuspecting soil,
back in the dirt where we belong,
this is me, I weep, I love, I remember, I belong.

Annelinde Metzner
April 2006