Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Poem for World Poetry Day

In 1999, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) declared March 21 to be World Poetry Day. I never heard of it until this year.

But I thought it was odd because I had planned on posting a poem today. Just another case of my latent 6th sense, I guess.

Anyway, I planned to post a poem today because we got about 4 inches of snow last night to usher in the first day of spring. There was a lot of talk about this, naturally, on social media and it instantly reminded me of a poem I had written in 2004 after it snowed that year on the first day of spring as well.

March of 2004 was a few months after my wife and I had split up and right around the same time that we were filing for divorce. I was living alone in a cheap apartment in Richmond, Kentucky, with no family nearby, alienated from most of my friends, and feeling pretty sorry for myself. I was also writing a lot of poetry.

The first day of spring was a Saturday that year, so I was doing what I always did on the weekends: hanging out by myself in my apartment and hoping something would be on one of the 3 channels I got with my rabbit ears on the TV. I remember watching the snowflakes fall outside the sliding glass door in my family room and thinking about how totally appropriate it was that this year, of all years, it would snow on the first day of spring - the first day of what is supposed to be an end to the deadness of winter and a rebirth of lush, green life. It seemed so significant to what I had been going through and what was certain to continue for the foreseeable future.

It's not the best poem I ever wrote, but it's one of the most poignant and meaningful for me personally. So I offer it here for World Poetry Day, 14 years to the day after I wrote it, and in another year where it snowed on the first day of spring. 

spring snow

it snowed this year
on the first
not much, just
a light dusting that
but it reminded me,
painfully, of the
i’ve just endured,
and how it is