Cardinals, Death, Monsieur du Miroir, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Omaha, Poem, Poems, Poetry, Spring, Winter
A few words might satisfy
The feverish yearning of my soul
for some master-thought,
That should guide me
Through this labyrinth of life,
Teaching wherefore I was born,
And how to do my task on earth,
And what is death.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, from Monsieur du Miroir
When the shadow is lifted,
There’s the only the boy,
And the first thing he does
Is become a man,
(Maybe sensing himself for the first time)
The buffer is gone; it’s him alone,
And a great wonder swells in his mind,
What can I do?
His eyes focus
On the yellow of the weeping willow against snow,
The sun caught and frozen there,
And he hears and turns his head
toward the cardinal whose red coat flashes
In front of him, like blood against snow.
He thinks of his dad standing amazed
at that same blood-red plumage,
And the man before him,
and before him, and so on.
There is nothing he can do now, at this time,
Except reflect and build energy
toward his own springtime,
And picture himself budding there,
His roots laid deep in the soil of his ancestry,
Their many failings,
(He still feels it)
Their many successes,
All of it now merging.
He knows, this will be his own final push,
Man, alone, stripped,
Stretching his whole being toward a sun
That is so often obscured,
So often, radiant and warm.