Poetry: Maggie Dietz
Maggie Dietz is the author of two collections of poems, Perennial Fall and That Kind of Happy. An alumna of BU’s graduate program in creative writing, Dietz is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Show’s over, folks. And didn’t October do
A bang-up job? Crisp breezes, full-throated cries
Of migrating geese, low-floating coral moon.
Nothing left but fool’s gold in the trees.
Did I love it enough, the full-throttle foliage,
While it lasted? Was I dazzled? The bees
Have up and quit their last-ditch flights of forage
And gone to shiver in their winter clusters.
Field mice hit the barns, big squirrels gorge
On busted chestnuts. A sky like hardened plaster
Hovers. The pasty river, its next of kin,
Coughs up reed grass fat as feather dusters.
Even the swarms of kids have given in
To winter’s big excuse, boxed-in allure:
TVs ricochet light behind pulled curtains.
The days throw up a closed sign around four.
The hapless customer who’d wanted something
Arrives to find lights out, a bolted door.
The ancients would lift
a clay spout to your lips—
water and honey and wine.
I give you milk, softened
with wine, and swear
you’ll never hunger, never
thirst while I’m alive.
What suffering I can’t preclude
I’ll soothe with singing:
My future, for you
not the greenness of a leaf
but of the leaves on all
the April branches.
Fire, I give you fuel. I sweat
and chop the wood.
I tender forever in you
who begin where I end as if
your body is
my body, your elegance
is lack of you, yearning is
the road to where you are.
You are the road, the where,
the song, the hunger. Child,
I give you sleep, I sing