Keetje Kuipers

Springtime makes us want things


          The old woman who walks my street
each afternoon, head bent to the book

          in her hands, wants to not be hit
by a car. The oil slicking Galveston

          Bay wants to dress the feathers
of migrating birds in purple-black

          sheen—make them all into crows,
dead crows. And don’t I want things, too?

          My daughter to press her mouth
to my breast and release me from

          my own swelling sweetness. When
I drive my car down the pollen-sprayed

          streets, every branch gushing
at the tips, I don’t think about

          what rumbles in the engine, why
I’m so glad to burn it all up.

Keetje Kuipers, a former Stegner Fellow and Pushcart Prize winner, is the author of two collections of poetry. She is an Assistant Professor at Auburn University where she is the editor of Southern Humanities Review.