(From a series of pandemic sonnets)
God! I’m glad I can smell the spring, or smell
at all. I’ve stuffed the house with cheap bouquets
all winter, to test myself. Can I catch
the scent, will I make it? In the city park,
over exhaust and exhaustion, I can tell
there’s a grove of bluebells opening to the day
like hands exiting prayer, and a swaying patch
of ferns, shoots coiled like fingers, a thicket,
that rankness of growth. In the plague, when people fell
where they stood, some carried sachets
of petals—pockets full of posies—to snatch
their lives back from greedy fate. Take it,
this spring: you’ve lived, you haven’t fallen yet.
Sometimes, this scent is all the grace we get.