the tender beauty
To me, spring seems ebullient but also fragile. This poem captured that sensation for me.
Form & Void
For him [the autistic child], everything is form.
Glory be to God for dappled things...
All things counter, original, spare, strange....
—Gerard Manley Hopkins
The boy is blowing bubbles
with his mother, shimmering orbs
that glitter and dance
on the face of the lawn.
He prances after them, staring
with the deep mirror of his eyes
as they pop and disappear.
Flapping his arms, he chases them
toward the garden cosmos,
their mauve and lilac gowns
of silk voile waltzing
in the breeze.
He orbits around his mother
as she dips in her wand,
produces these baubles
from breath and film.
The glassy bubbles rise in a swirl
of pink and blue, a moment’s iridescence.
This is the only magic the mother can conjure;
she cannot help him talk or say his name.
But they can do this together,
blow bubbles on a breezy afternoon,
make a strand of hand-blown beads
to grace the throat of the lawn.
— Barbara Crooker, author of Selected Poems