Daffodils Had Just Begun Nodding

by Tara Powell

Daffodils had just begun nodding
     and juncos just come to the feeder
     still hanging by the old red fence her
grandsons had promised to paint this spring,
when Grandmother’s heart
     in one swift contraction
     left another woman
the matriarch.

If death must come,
     let it not come whistling through the winter
     while ice is in mirrors on the juniper,
but in the first hum
of honeybees sipping the cool March clover;
     let me go down in my sleep
     and the wind all the while keep
jitterbugging as I am crossing over.

Tara Powell is the Hugh McColl Fellow in Southern Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is a Ph.D. candidate in English.  Some of the publications in which her poetry has appeared include Asheville Poetry Review, Blue Unicorn, Cold Mountain Review, Crucible, Hidden Oak, Pembroke Magazine, South Carolina Review, and Southern Poetry Review.  She wrote a monthly column for the Raleigh News and Observer from February 2001 to August 2002, edited The Carolina Quarterly from May 2002 to August 2003, and has read her creative work by invitation at a variety of conferences.

Tara Powell was nominated for Poets Under 30 by Michael McFee.