Monday, February 23, 2015

February 23: Poet of the Week, Linda Nemec Foster, "Climbing Cherry Trees"

Sadly, I am leaving W. Todd Kaneko and the dead wrestlers behind.  I could happily spend the next couple months typing up each elegy in Kaneko's book.  But, there are a lot of other fine poets on which to shine a spotlight.

This week's Poet of the Week is Linda Nemec Foster, Pulitzer Prize nominee and the first Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I had the honor of being on a reading panel with Foster a few years ago, and she is a warm and giving person.  And a fantastic poet.

No dead wrestler for Saint Marty tonight.

Climbing Cherry Trees

by:  Linda Nemec Foster

Before you can possess them in your hand--
soft globes of perfect color--
you must climb and hang on:
become the tree scraping your knees,
the bark leaving its stigmata on your hands.
Only then will you be able to taste
the color, not just the fruit,
but the color of the fruit.
Deep red of fragile skin,
cherry red of succulent heart,
mahogany red of stained pit.
Imagine a stone of pure vermillion
dissolving in your mouth.
The color never leaving your throat
as you sit there in the embrace of the tree
not belonging to the heavens,
but not quite belonging to the earth.

Poet Laureate and, now, Saint Marty Poet of the Week

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