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More Spring Poetry

May 26, 2011

Picture by Heresy Corner

It is raining and raining here. I tried to rototill some ground for a garden and the rototiller got clogged with dirt and grass. Our well was supposed to go in today, but it is too wet and muddy. Let’s all take a moment to remember why spring is wonderful.


by Bob Hicok

I remember Michigan fondly as the place I go

to be in Michigan. The right hand of America

waving from maps or the left

pressing into clay a mold to take home

from kindergarten to Mother. I lived in Michigan

forty-three years. The state bird

is a chained factory gate. The state flower

is Lake Superior, which sounds egotistical

though it is merely cold and deep as truth.

A Midwesterner can use the word “truth,”

can sincerely use the word “sincere.”

In truth the Midwest is not mid or west.

When I go back to Michigan I drive through Ohio.

There is off I-75 in Ohio a mosque, so life

goes corn corn corn mosque, I wave at Islam,

which we’re not getting along with

on account of the Towers as I pass.

Then Ohio goes corn corn corn

billboard, goodbye, Islam. You never forget

how to be from Michigan when you’re from Michigan.

It’s like riding a bike of ice and fly fishing.

The Upper Peninsula is a spare state

in case Michigan goes flat. I live now

in Virginia, which has no backup plan

but is named the same as my mother,

I live in my mother again, which is creepy

but so is what the skin under my chin is doing,

suddenly there’s a pouch like marsupials

are needed. The state joy is spring.

“Osiris, we beseech thee, rise and give us baseball”

is how we might sound were we Egyptian in April,

when February hasn’t ended. February

is thirteen months long in Michigan.

We are a people who by February

want to kill the sky for being so gray

and angry at us. “What did we do?”

is the state motto. There’s a day in May

when we’re all tumblers, gymnastics

is everywhere, and daffodils are asked

by young men to be their wives. When a man elopes

with a daffodil, you know where he’s from.

In this way I have given you a primer.

Let us all be from somewhere.

Let us tell each other everything we can.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom Jones permalink
    May 26, 2011 6:13 pm

    Spring is wet…drip…drip…drip. The river is swollen and over flowing. Must be almost June in Oregon!

    Thanks for the poem. It plucked my little Michigander’s heart!

    • May 26, 2011 6:48 pm

      Thanks for the poem, Mom Jones. Even if I’ve never lived in Michigan I still feel connected to the state.

  2. Beth permalink
    May 31, 2011 8:00 am

    I love that poem. I think it should be the state anthem. “When a man elopes

    with a daffodil, you know where he’s from.” Lovely.

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