“Notes to Myself During National Poetry Month, 2020” by Dante Di Stefano

Dante Di Stefano


Remember, bluets still sprout
beneath your boots
when you take your daughter
for a walk by the river.

Even though an orange snow fence
surrounds the jungle gym
in the park down the street,
there’s the low fork
of a young oak to sit her in.

Remember, even if the hoops
have all been unscrewed
from the backboards,
you can still feign a hook shot for her.

Remember, if the balcony
is closed,
sing through the wall.

Find the riot, unquelled,
in the cherry blossom’s center.

Remember, beneath each scarf,
bandanna, and surgical mask,
there is a throat
that might break into sudden
surprising aria.

Remember, how astonished
your daughter is
at motorcycles and ladybugs,
a pebble she finds
in a neighbor’s driveway,
the stars, the moon, mayflies,
streetlights seen from
the window before bed.

Remember, the image of
your wife’s brown hair
sprawled on the pillow
in the blue hour
of any morning
is worth more
than all your poems.

Remember, even an angry word
from her
is worth more than
the best line of poetry
you have ever read.

Remember, your poems
cannot shelter you,
or make a roof
for the ones you love.

Remember, the earth’s
sole vocation is to astonish.

Remember, the angels of the earth
choir themselves
with mouths full of sod.

Remember, glaciers melt,
oceans rise,
coastlines recede.

Remember, everything can happen
at once and always,
and God, and heaven, and hell.

Remember, the world is
inside you,
the meadow between
one clover and one bee.

Remember, the world is sweet
and spinning, still.

from Poets Respond
April 14, 2020


Dante Di Stefano: “This is really a love note to my wife and to my daughter, and also a poem about what poetry means, and doesn’t mean, to me.” (web)

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