Poetry

Keystroke

MARY MEIGS

Mary Meigs wrote this piece in spring 2001 while she was recovering from a stroke, and which is reproduced here exactly as she typed it, Meigs writes: "In occupational therapy, it was a great joy to use the old Underwood electric typewriter to strengthen the fingers of my left hand. The window looked out at the tree-clad face of the mountain, leafless and then completely green, which rose back of the hospital to join the sky"


the treesare still wqiting for a wake-up call a voice of the
chromosomres saying oh trees so straight-laced poker-waisted
bend, undulate shake your heads, sprout some joyful buds
Spring is no longer cruelly deceivin you; she is here for
real. Rejoice’

another week has gone by.sunny foreground shadinbrigh tly grey
up into aadark patch of amasses tree -t ops and lower left
thr road and b oulders reaaly parked crs hidden by a long cur

wall of snow-v isi bly cars because bri ght diamonds of
sunlight are glinting from the metal surfaces. I have a bird’s-
view of the growin g the growing hollows around the
bottoms of nearby tees as the snow melts Is it reaaly happening

at last? the spring melt?
Today-April 5ththe sun in the pollution-free, it seems , sluest
sky, somewhere a bove and behind me, a crow planingon a
warm up draftthrough the trees... it will last until tomorrow
thiethis meltlngspring wonder and perhaps rain will finish
the benign process.Newfandland has had a 30 cm. snowfall,
the snow workers are on strike,a woman has died and the whole
province is fed up (just as we were before the last few
days of reprieve The sky is darkening the old granit,
catiy-cormered of the prehidtproc Royal Vic a menacing grey-black.
Deep wells now in which all the trees stand measure
the rate of melting. Near by and b elow pairs of trees share c
oval wells. A thundersosm predicted-April l4th. Down there in
the Keys the light of every day is so bright says M.C v ia
her literary cat and his blue eyes reflect the sky of yesterday
and tomorrow. A qhite car the color of snow just glided down th
hill a week ag o?April 24th and the glorious blue sky broke fre
sulky grey for a whileand I thought do I want it to rain that
much after Lyn’s story of the thirsty rootsbecause of frozen
ground and e vaporation But the flourishing yew, the
weeping juniper and spruce with its heavy head on the

ground all happily greendo not look thirsty... Two thin
white birches in front of me.

anovercast day but no snow- yet.The stirght thin trees are
marching sri salmost to the top of the mountain where

a comany of as thin and strigh t as they are is lookin g
down at them. Could it b e going a bo ve freezing today for

the first time since December today? There is the human cursor
moving horizontallyacross the zrrees-a shuttle (the musical shut
the wood thrush who speaks in summer and is far away which o
six weeks after the winter solatice, said a friedd, and
there ithere are I don ’t know how many more minutes of ligjt
very noticea ble morning and afternoon.Fifteen minutes now
to impromise Yesterday the suirrel
our house-squieel perched on the corner-post on the porch
le the beauty-sqirrel of the clanwith hi s tail arched
so tightll over his back that not even a pinhole of

air could be seen. He is a perfect sentinel. Now I can
see the snowlakesfallin g afaaling over the dark verticles
of the trees.It walinvisible white snow,their-amatter
mother-maatter.And why can’t you see have thousands if not
nillions of IBMa,etc that hide what they just wrote
from the typist (me )?
a gloroius day .Will the ice in front of my house melt?A
rough and infinitely cautious trip down to Gloria’s
housewher the pa vement is bare andIicould get zto the help
of Elizabeth ever-kind on her way home .Familiar view of the
soaring snowy mountain with its vertical thin straight leakless
treea.So different from thewidw city- New on the ozher
stetching away to a long straig ht hills The marv;;ous old dark
time- blackened Royal Vie buildin in the foreground with
magnificent wrought iron railing around the top, a cupola on the
zoof with a qubec f;ag flying from the top and a Maple Leaf on
the same level near by; rosy light glowing through b oth at

sunrise and s stiff north wind b lowing them straight south. The
changes in thi s view sustained me for the three days I was in
Room ?. bed 1 of a 4-bed

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MARY MEIGS

Mary Meigs (1917–2002) was a writer and artist, author of Lily Briscoe: A Self-Portrait, The Medusa Hotel, The Box Closet, In the Company of Strangers, and The Time Being, all published by Talon, as well as many articles and essays.


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