Love Poem from the Wrong Side of the Rain

Lynn Powell Click to

Lynn Powell was born and raised in East Tennessee but now lives in Ohio.  Her collections of poetry include Old & New Testaments and The Zones of Paradise, and her nonfiction book Framing Innocence: A Mother’s Prosecution and a Community’s Response has been widely praised.  She has received individual artist fellowships from New Jersey, Ohio, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and she current teaches at Oberlin College.

What would April do?  Tease hidden
meanings from the bulbs, raise the stakes
and double my entendres, and bet
all my roses on the bottom line.

But it’s the season of embarrassed trees,
the modest charms of leaf-rot and briar
and hawk-scat thawing on the muddy path:
skinny March at an earnest latitude.

So tell me, Muse:  where around here might a woman
find a little flint and tinder,
some figure of feisty speech, a correlative for kisses
that would make a grown man weep if she put it
all on the table and headed out
for good into the long-stemmed rain?


4 Responses to Love Poem from the Wrong Side of the Rain

  1. Kathleen Brewin Lewis says:

    A great title – and I applaud “the long-stemmed rain.”

  2. ktoomb says:

    I love how this poem takes the stereotypical “love poem of spring” and turns it on its head with its cheekiness. This is a great original take on a common theme.

  3. Madeline Thorpe says:

    The characterization of the seasons and the seasonal transition is particularly compelling. April will assume agency when it “teases hidden/ meanings from the bulbs.” However, winter still dominates the natural landscape, but is beginning to ebb: “skinny March at an earnest latitude.” The features of nature also possess emotional depth, as exemplified in this “season of embarrassed trees.” In the final stanza, the speaker invokes a classical influence in referencing the Muse and suggesting a teasing, even flighty view of spring love. Overall, this is an intriguing view of the natural world and its transitions.

  4. Iva Weidenkeller says:

    I love everything about this poem–the unusual take on the seasons is refreshing and grabs the reader. “What would April do?” “double my entendres,” and “long-stemmed rain” are all beautiful examples of wordplay, as is the title. Both playful and exquisite.

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