Al Young title

APRIL, THE COOLEST MONTH

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Visit Al Young’s Poem-a-Month page at KQED’s
‘The California Report’


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April, the Coolest Month

April? The cruelest month? Says who?
From Chula Vista to Bakersfield – she drove up
to the San Joaquin Valley to hear him quote this?
What was it about reading and college anyway?
“Fool,” she ached to say, “just look out the window.
Your A-plus blacks out sunlight!” Breathe.
She knew how April fools, but April pulls, too.

April pulls up National Poetry Month. Breathe.
April pulls up National Library Week and (bass
and drum roll) Jazz Appreciation Month.
Lobbies buzz. With every spore afloat, adrift,
ravishing her sinuses, she could feel April’s
mutual pulls flow out in her snail-soft exhale.
Her family knows beet fields, artichokes, grapes.

She breathed the early pull of April, a soul of melt
and yearly turn-around. Unsprung, they kissed
away distance and loved it up for lost time.
All the way home to green, old San Diego County,
she missed him bad. She made up poems
to sing for them over a crackling SmartPhone
in the twilit chill of April, the coolest month.

© Al Young

Courtesy photos


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