Spring Fever

By Leon Joffe

Yesterday after weeks of hot dusty winds,
Air bled from distant snow-capped Cape mountains
Chilled our home, numbed our scorched bodies and minds
And made me look again, longingly, at my pens.
Outside my office window, on a narrow island
Of earth between this building and the highway
A tiny kingdom of indigenous plants firmly stands
Against the wind; of these the wild pear may
Claim to be queen, robed in white fur,
While servile green-cloaked thorntrees at her feet
Ignore peasant grasses which early summer breezes stir
Yet cannot uproot. And with the birds the scene is complete.

I am no angel watching from my cloud
Yet how simple to see myself so. My wife -
You will suffer for your remaining years while I, loud
And overbearing, make your suffering my life.
I will gloat when normal people shuffle along
Their tiny paths; and shout: how different I am.
Every day hear my cheerful bird song -
At dawn I greet the sun; at dusk I quaff my dram!

You move gently in the shade of your grief -
Quietly touching eternal sand or tiny spring leaf.
You look with numbed gaze through my eyes
To find that which will encircle you, never surprise
Or hurt. Can an angel do anyone harm,
Even those it has always loved? A dark swarm
Of bees clouds the wild pear, drunk with spring fever,
Desperate. And how can I promise you: I am here forever?

Converted to HTML by Renette Davis with permission from the author, Leon Joffe, whose wife Pitta has Huntington's Disease.

Send comments to Renette by clicking here.

Last updated: Dec. 1, 2010

Return to: Leon's Poems