Monday, May 21, 2007

the pale army

I wouldn't normally do this, but I found Sunday's Writer's Almanac so rich in garden metaphors I have to share it. The poem captures well that first shocking time you put on a pair of shorts to work in the garden and realize both the ravages of winter and just how pale your skin has gotten.

Poem: "Mud Season" by Alice N. Persons, from Never Say Never. © Moon Pie Press, 2004. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Mud Season

After a brutal Maine winter
the world dissolves
in weak sunshine and water.
Mud sucks at your shoes.
It's impossible to keep the floors
or the dogs clean.
Peeling layers of clothes like onion skins,
you emerge pale, root-like, a little dazed
by brighter light.
You haven't looked at your legs
in months
and discover an alarming new geography
of veins and flaws.
Last year you scoffed at people
who got spray-tanned
but it's starting to appeal.
Your only consolation is the company of others
who haven't been to Nevis
or Boca Raton,
a pale army
of fellow radishes,
round onions,
long-underground tubers.


Liz said...


Leslie said...

Liz, I had you in mind when I posted this.

El said...

My answer? I wear PANTS! (and long shirts but then again I am sunphobic)

thanks for the link, Leslie.