I picked up this lovely collection at a bookshop on Monroe Street when I visited Sara in Madison last February.
I was looking for a book published by a micro press for the 2017 Read Harder challenge. The shop owner thought this book, published by Tebot Bach, might work.
Robin Chapman is a poet like no other I’ve encountered. Maybe because she’s (also)
a developmental psycholinguist (she retired from “teaching and research in children’s language development and disorders” at UW-Madison),
with a strong appreciation for mathematics (she mentions prime and perfect numbers and ancient Greek mathematicians in her poems),
who paints (that’s her work on the cover)?
I’m thoroughly enjoying this collection and thought y’all might, too.
Garden, I call it, our beautiful volunteers — faces of phlox,
waving arms of goldenrod, monarda’s tight fists —
still here after the hottest, driest two months on record,
all their lower leaves withered, sere, height lowered,
many young ones dead; and now at last the rain,
perfume rising up of soil, leaf, flower — if gratitude
had a scent, my skin itself would join in calling the bees.
And who is to say that this is not the scent of gratitude?
That exchange that might bring rain back again.
I read those lines early this morning, when the scent of gratitude was that first cup of hot coffee. But then, on the trail at the park, the air crisp and clean after a light rain, I smelled the freshly fallen leaves.
What do you call the scent of gratitude?