“May in Utah–an homage” by Laura Craner

The poplar’s shadow on her hand
Indicates a tree in spring.
Willets, catbirds, and broncos all hear
Big-hipped nature dancing across the Rockies
Stripping and putting on the many faces of
A weather-beaten land:
Green, red, brown, and white,
The flag of summer on the horizon.

They are indivisible incompatibles,
This landscape and
The mutterings of a middle woman.
Her words lie naked in a field,
Lost in the grazing cows,
Being licked up and slobbered on
By their wide, warm tongues,

Always emphasizing individuality
And difference and commonality and similarity,
Exploring, teaching, imposing,

Crying, €œLook at me!
Learn from me!
Listen! €

The weather-beaten woman
Tanned, freckled, and dry,

Green, red, brown, and white €”
With wrinkles round her many-faced smile €”
Observes her fleeting springtime
And is always living tenderly.


Laura is a mommy and sometimes writer who dabbles in gardening and the expressive arts.   She says of this poem, “Back when I was in college I wrote a poem about spring in Utah as an homage to May Swenson. It’s a mash-up of titles of her work and bits of her prose and I thought it might be a good fit for Love of Nature month at WIZ.”   You can read more of her stuff at A Motley Vision or Depressed (But Not Unhappy) Mormon Mommy. She is very excited for spring.