Maxine Kumin

I just heard the news that one of my favorite poets has passed.  I remember finding an anthology of her poetry in the library when I was in 7th grade, and I devoured it whole, but this poem of hers was the one that struck me most and the one I still go back and read over and over again so I thought I would share it as a way to remember and honor her legacy and her life.  Thanks Maxine. 

 

We Are

 

Love, we are a small pond.

In us yellow frogs take the sun.

Their legs hang down. Their thighs open

like the legs of the littlest children.

On our skin waterbugs suggest incision

but leave no marks of their strokes.

Touching is like that. And what touch evokes.

 

Just here the blackest berries fatten

over the pond of our being.

It is a rich month for putting up weeds.

They jut like the jaws of Hapsburg kings.

Tomorrow they will drop their blood

as the milkweed bursts its cotton

leaving dry thorns and tight seeds.

 

Meanwhile even knowing

that time comes down to shut the door

-headstrong, righteous, time hard at the bone

with ice and one thing more-

we teem, we overgrow, The shelf

is tropic still. Even knowing

that none of us can catch up with himself

 

we are making a run

for it. Love, we are making a run.

                     – Maxine Kumin (1925-2014)

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About jake.forrest

Poet. Songwriter. Etc. View all posts by jake.forrest

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