When the understory of the woods
and you can see the contours
of the earth,
the rock out-croppings—all this
just after the
last pockets of snow disappear,
is still sere, brown, gray—when
now and then
a woodcock whistles or you can hear
a lone goose
going somewhere—all this, this sweet
with no bugs at all, none, not a single one—
clear, beautiful and brief moment,
this is the time
I love the best—
before the world fills up again with
brush, birds, green, a last brief rest—
quiet and peace—
before I have to turn and face
the lush and fertile,
From Happy Life, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in September 2011
Used with the author’s permission.
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David Budbill was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1940 to a streetcar driver and a minister's daughter. He is the author of seven books of poems, eight plays, a novel, a collection of short stories, a picture book for children, dozens of essays, and the libretto for an opera. Among his many awards is one for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts from the Arts Council in Vermont, where David has lived for nearly forty years. A one-time commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, David has a new book, Happy Life, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2011. Learn more about him at www.davidbudbill.com.