On Wordsworth’s Birthday

Each April, the returning host
won’t be ignored.
I could have opened this poem
with the sonorous croaks
of migrating cranes before
turning to daffodils.

One April morning,
I found myself writing
as I strained to contain
another dreadful headline
until I failed to find
the apt metaphor for a madman
gassing his countrymen.

Just once, let me wake
empty as a cool dry well,
carry my rusty bucket
over the dewy lawn,
shower the violets in rainbows,
turn from their trembling petals
and call it an empty day.


April 17 is William Wordsworth’s 251st birthday.