After Reading Proust

I never could
bear to be inside
before, as right now,
with sunrise 
like honey smeared     
across the lawn,  
in this room at my desk,
in May with the bluebells
and anemone flooding
the loamy swales;
with the lilacs  
in full bloom
along the garden shed
almost promising
that I might,
in today’s sudden heat
after last night’s
soaking rain, stumble
on morels, just-
in the moss
under forest elms.

It’s still agony
at times
not to walk out
from this interior
into the moist
art of wildflowers,
and soft ricochet
of warblers
above a sweep
of river current; 

though now, half-
way downstream
from when I began
this life, the river
of my body
has molded itself
into an eddy
from which more
often than not
I’m content
to peer out
at the same scene
from the same room,
as strangely enamored
as those first
bees I saw
four times yesterday
in the boulevard
grass (twice
in the morning
walking my daughter
to school and twice
in the afternoon
walking her home)—

that with so many other
sources of nectar
to choose from
spent all day
a shaft    
the sweet
inside the dark
of a discarded 
soda can.   

—Dan Butterfass, Rochester, MN