What We Assume

By Glenda | March 8, 2009

It wasn’t the raccoon, as I thought.
It was the old black crow who turned over
the cats’ metal bowls I had moved
way out to the picnic table
to escape the hissing ‘possom that otherwise
terrorizes the kitchen doorway at night.

Things are seldom what we assume.

This morning I walked in stars,
millions of tiny stars, blooming underfoot,
white, soft pink, with here and there
purple wood violets to remind me
of my stepfather who brought them
to my mother by the handful
when she could no longer get around
in the kind of broken ground,
rooted up by armadillos and wild hogs,
that I walked in this morning
among the wind tossed little stars and violets.

This afternoon the temperature will reach eighty,
and one might assume, wrongly, no doubt,
that we’re done with the cold, but, no,
it could yet snow on Easter, or freeze
on my birthday, my seventh, in a few weeks.

Things are seldom what we assume.
There are no guarantees.
The news on the tv and the talk shows is dire.

So it’s best, I guess, to give up assumptions,
judgments, worries, predictions,
and any certainties whatsoever,
and, instead, wander sanely in the meadow,
taking in scent of wildly blooming
serviceberry trees, along with the bees and butterflies
that cover every single shining ruffled bloom.

None of them—birds, bees, or butterflies—
are economists or media pundits or politicians,
nor are they suffering from loss of jobs
or health care or concern about bombs.

At least I assume they aren’t, but then again,
things may not be what I assume,
since naturalists are asking us to report
changes due to global warming that may
indicate the birds and bees and trees
and all the rest have worries too…

But, anyway, today, I’m setting aside,
for now, wrangling with tangled taxes,
and I’m taking in sight of the ornamental plum
all regal, white too, and the first iris,
and the red coral vine, and the waning yellow jasmine,
and the tiny, tiny, tiny purple or yellow blooming things,
unnamed but not unknown,
you can’t walk for stepping on.

The book, all knowing, says that, last fall,
I sowed the red corn poppies
too close together and they won’t bloom
at all. Well. We’ll see. May be.

Things are seldom what we assume.
So I’m banking on hope.
It’s paid off, more than not,
through all my years. Anyway,
things are always changing,
day by day, blooms go away,
but the fruit will come, and go,
and compost, too, plays its part,
so, who knows, but what
this economic downturn
will turn out to be…
well, who knows?

For now, then, scent of rain,
hinted in the gathering clouds,
paynes gray and mauve and rose mallow
watercolored clouds,
reminds me to go inside,
to paint, to write these words,
to think of you. I do.

5 comments | Add One

  1. Grayson - 03/10/2009 at 1:22 pm

    A splendid poem, friend Glenda. And it did work to get me out of my present worries for awhile. We need to have a poetry salon one of these days.


  2. JoAn - 03/10/2009 at 2:39 pm

    I love what you wrote, Glenda. Your wise words are a timely reminder in my life,—- I mean right now, especially. I am grateful to you for the way that you extend a loving hand to others, lifting spirits, changing hearts, drying tears. And all under the guise of just “writing a bit of poetry.” Much love, Dear.

  3. Mary Elizabeth - 03/12/2009 at 8:48 pm

    yes, yes, yes.

    sometimes when it is soooo big, that thing that may or may not threaten us or those we love, it does serve us best to simply sit and watch. that the sun continues to rise every day in spite of it all.

    i too prefer to practice observation instead of fear, for watching teaches me much and i’m not sure if fear teaches me anything.

    love you.

  4. Karen T - 03/26/2009 at 8:01 pm

    What a beautiful poem, thanks Glenda. I’m just betting those red corn poppies will bloom, just for you!

  5. vicky benoit - 03/27/2009 at 8:42 am

    DEAREST GLENDA…I love your poem, and could visualize you walking in the lush spring, as I am on my way to hair dressers to dye my hair…things are not always what they seem!!!

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