Year of the Murder Hornet

year of the cloud of pollen     that chased me to my car     across the supermarket parking lot

year I was overpowered     by flowering magnolia petals     in a windstorm while walking home

year of the murder hornet     and coronavirus     and weather as a system     that shaped each day 

in a way that felt     different from the past     year during which you understood     how the neighborhood 

you grew up in     shaped the way you say friend     how the word childhood     is the start of a sentence 

that has no end     until you aren't the one saying it anymore     year of grown-ups    with their gravity

making everything     a question or a fragment     depending on their personal weather     whether 

some of them     were green or deep     as trees of your imagining     year when the way trees speak     

with each other about each other     was more essential     than the shade they gave     year to try to live     

like trees     upright yielding seeking     sunlight and silent languages     year I got a book in the mail     

about housecleaning     as a joke from another poet     regarding a poem of mine     about life being hard     

and people's constant quest     on the internet     to make things easier     year the cover of the book 

read     Introducing Your Household Heroes:  Regular Products with Multiple Abilities     how multiple abilities    

sounded more like an affliction     than a capacity     year of nights I lost sleep     year my mind cradled me     

Copyright © Tina Cane. This poem originally appeared in Ovenbird,
issue seven. Used with permission of the author.