The smell of spring through open windows,
lilac, lily of the valley, fresh-cut lawns—
especially at sunset, if it’s warm, with a light wind;
especially on Friday, tired from a work-hard week—
it loosens clothing, talk and inhibition,
maybe with a clink of drink-to-drink.
But nothing lasts, especially to think of
beautiful deliverance from the past week, month
or year. Soon Saturday is here, with tasks
or obligations saved-up for the day,
for catching-up with housework or with friends.
Time spends itself so suddenly away
toward Sunday, when the rituals set in,
and panic petrifies the fun, the very thought of
the next unavoidable, ascending sun.
The Muse is usually a she
according to art history.
More than once I’ve
served in that capacity.
I’ve also known it as a he
a love, an ardent kind
of sustenance, a boon
to heart and mind.
In the end I think
it is a voice inside
wherever the best
part of me abides.
It is ancient, bardic,
will not be cajoled
or come when called
or do as it is told.
“Do the work,” it says,
“and leave the door ajar.
Do not worry.
I know where you are.”
She rises from her soft
seat of enjoyment
puts aside her book and shakes
the glimmer from her gaze:
some falls into the rug, some
slips into the corners of her eyes.
This last amount goes into the kitchen
with her so that even after she
bends over a cucumber and
begins to slice, she’s not entirely
about the business of slicing. Or
if she is about
the business of slicing
it is not a cucumber.