Of Toast and Poetry and Spring

A while back I took a writing class and one assignment was to write a poem containing words assigned by the instructor. It was a surpisingly fun activity. I guess sometimes it is easier to produce something within constraints than when we have the whole world to work with. I can’t remember which words were required, but I’m sharing the poem with you in this post, so feel free to take a guess!

A Hard Rain

Could I have some toast my love
Burn it if you may
It could not be as black as
The heart of this day

This harden Spring breaks my heart
Her promises showered in vain
The soft eyes that met this day
Were matched with a hard rain

Play me a little ditty please
Any tune you say
Sing me a song to save
The score of this slow day

I am sure to hear her reason
On keys so black and white
It’s been a hard rain, darling
With no end in sight

Dry up the puddles my dear
Show me sun to soak
Plant me a garden green
Sow me a little hope

Or perhaps you’d like to go back
And ask me once again
How did you greet the day my love?
And I’ll say
Just fine.

The poem draws on my feelings about this time of year. I’m told that April showers bring May flowers, but I’ve always found that proverb difficult to swallow. May can be a hard month. There are many windy and rainy days, the occassional sunny day is no longer a happy surprise like it is in April, and the ease of summer is still out of reach.

I do, however, love May. I took a walk around my neighbourhood this weekend and I couldn’t help finding the first blooms striking. The fact that they are few and far between make each bloom that much more special. May is the time of year when people dress in shorts even though it’s not quite warm, when we sit on patios even though it’s not quite comfortable, and when we plan outdoor events even though we know rain is a distinct possibility.

May can be complex and unpredictable and some days will be miserable, but it’s also full of wonder and hope. To celebrate May and to wrap up this post, here are some photographs of blooms that I took last May in Pittsburgh. Happy May, everyone!


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