THIS NOT THE POEM I MOST WANT TO WRITE

after Elizabeth Bishop
Here at dawn in mid-January
there are no lightning bugs,

nor is there an orchestra
of locusts and frogs,

though an ensemble of light rain
has been tuning all morning

on the porch, and the last tatters
of a timid snowfall make their ascension,

lazy ghosts, slow spirits of snow
clearing the way for the brown grass

to take a breath and remind us
that the wood smoke tangled

around the bony, leafless branches
tells the trees about the deep

beauty of their own souls,
their own green exuberance,

and though this may not be
the poem I most want to write,

for now it is my only possession,
and like Elizabeth’s Man-Moth,

I’ll give it to you.
Here. Take it,

cool as melted snow,
clean and tasting of earth.