I laughed out loud and cried at David’s tribute, held by a ring of poets and actors on the stage where his work has been performed so many times. In the front row of the balcony, my friend and I talked about our children, and how our lives had shaken down. Later, driving home in the dark, up familiar route 12 I’ve driven so many times – with children, with friends, with family – now alone, not passing another car all those miles, save for an old Volvo station wagon that followed me out of Montpelier before turning off at a house with two lit windows.
Following the narrow sweep of my headlights, I thought of the final speaker’s words: from human suffering rises song. Thinking of David’s own kindnesses to me, and the great wealth of this man’s work and life, I followed those headlights like a unwinding stream of moonlight all the way home.
My children lay in their beds, sleeping. For the longest while, I stood on the balcony in the dark, listening to the frog’s steady chorus, rain falling lightly on my face, and then I, too, went inside and slept.
…These are not the rare and delicate lemon yellow day lilies
or the other kinds people have around their places. This one
is coarse and ordinary, almost harsh in its weathered beauty…
…A plant gone wild and therefore become
rugged, indestructible, indomitable, in short: tough, resilient,
like anyone or thing has to be in order to survive.
From “The Ubiquitous Day Lily of July” by David Budbill