All day today the ice melted.
My name is Queen.
I haven’t melted at all
though I am soft
and getting softer
until I will pardon you all.
I watch benignly as one by one
you slink off down diminishing avenues
to somewhere less central.
I pardon Jimmy who egged on Joe
who threw the snowball at Jean
and I pardon Jean for wiping off the snow
as if snow were something that should go.
Even the grass is pushing snow aside.
I can feel it rising up inside me, too.
I pardon it
and get on with my reign.
LISTEN to ‘Spring’ by Anna Jackson
Anna Jackson has published four collections with Auckland University Press, most recently The Gas Leak in 2006. Thicket, her fifth collection, comes out in July 2011. Anna lives in Island Bay, Wellington, and teaches in the English department at Victoria University.
Jackson comments: ‘This was a throwaway poem I added at the last minute to a set of poems I was submitting to Turbine. I wrote it one day when fellow poet Erin Scudder and I were both chained to our computers and to make our day more amusing we set instant poetry challenges for each other. We would email each other a set of rules for writing a poem, and see how fast we could fire one back. The poem that became “Spring” just had to include three words Erin gave me. Probably “snow” was one of them, and I think another was “Montreal.” I wrote the poem in less than three minutes and the only revision I made was to change “Montreal Avenue” to “diminishing avenues” which may have been a mistake. I have just found a copy of the original and it reads “you slink off down Quebec avenue / which is somewhere in Montreal,” so the diminishing avenues are more of a revision than I remembered, and possibly even more of a mistake. “Quebec” must have been other word I had to include to meet my obligations.’