Posts Tagged ‘Simplicity’

I love so many things about this poem by Ruth Stone: the personification of a linden tree and a small crack in the avenue; the sense of wonder, joy, and buoyancy; the lightness and humor implicit as well as the genuine sentiment; the way the tone is set and the reader is invited into the fairy tale by beginning with the line “Once upon an;” most of all, the coyness.

A Love Like Ours

Once upon an avenue a small crack
smiled at a linden tree.
“I love your dappled shadow,” it thought;
but only to itself.
The small crack stretched with pleasure.
The pure meld of the sun boiled
at its fragmented edges.
“How I crumble,” the crack whispered,
“how the weight and the shock go through me.
I am a true MacAdam.”
The linden tree shook itself in the jet stream.
It hummed with wings.
Male and female, pollen and pistil; it hummed.
Toward the equinox the air was filled with
a riding of seeds. They went in pushing crowds,
kicking and falling. The prickled the street
with their adolescent bursting.
In the morning the street cleaner,
gushing water, rolled over them
with thousands of bristles.
It brushed them along in a stream to the gutter.
One shy young linden seed was swept into the crack.
The crack gave a sigh.
At last it knew that the linden tree had noticed.
“A love like ours,” said the crack,
“could split the street, could break up traffic!
Given time, it could even damage the sewer!”

Ruth Stone © 1995

This poem is featured in Stone’s book called Simplicity. Highly recommended.


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