Signs of the Season

by Henry Rappaport

Rosie says
the bush is December
thinks three weeks freeze got it
is flip and sad at the half masts.

Meanwhile, the sun knocks its head
on the year’s first bee.

                                                                          What am I sure of?

That everything I want
            is on the table
                        in the empty glass?

The man is sad
who is writing about sadness
whose graveyard
is the woman he loved
who hung November from a tree
discovered March
and broke his heart.

He fell like true dirt
packed a bag
and found a white cat
to nap on his lap.


One good Friday,
John Donne and I
dragged our asses out of April
to the library of downtown Syracuse.
He felt half giddy and half sad in the turnaround
asked if I would promise to remember.
Now every spring he blows it
and I remember


            Is the world
to circumstance
   that smiles at the window
            as if it sees through to itself
              and does it
when sleep comes
                the mortal enemy?


            I listened to the woman on t.v.
say I’ll be right back.
  I waited and I heard her sing

the old wisdom says
lasts forever

                                                                                  not emptiness
not an empty glass
                                                                not even a sugarless bush
                                                                    into which sugars flow.