Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
From The Poetry of Robert Frost edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright © 1923, 1947, 1969 by Henry Holt and Company, copyright © 1942, 1951 by Robert Frost, copyright © 1970, 1975 by Lesley Frost Ballantine. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
your body is still a miracle thirst
quenched with water across dry tongue and lips
or cocoa butter ashy legs immersed
till shine seen sheen the mind too cups and dips
from its favorite rivers figures and facts
slant stories of orbiting protests or
protons around daughters or suns :: it backs
up or opens wide to joy’s gush downpour
the floods the heart pumps hip hop doo wop dub
veins mining the mud for poetry’s o
cell after cell drinks ringgold colors mulled
cool cascades of calla lilies :: swallow
and bathe breathe believe through drought you survive
like the passage schooled you till rains arrive
—after alexis pauline gumbs
Copyright © 2020 by Evie Shockley. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 16, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.