instructions on not giving up

More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.

—ada limón, instructions on not giving up

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ada limón adrienne rich alejandro zambra aleksandar hemon ali smith alice notley alice oswald andré aciman andrea dworkin andrea wulf anna burns anne boyer anne brontë anne carson anne truitt anne vegter annie dillard antjie krog audre lorde ben lerner bhanu kapil carry van bruggen catherine lacey cees nooteboom charlotte brontë charlotte salomon chimamanda ngozi adichie chris kraus christa wolf claire messud claire vaye watkins clarice lispector deborah levy durga chew-bose elif batuman elizabeth strout emily brontë erwin mortier ester naomi perquin etty hillesum f. scott fitzgerald feminisme fernando pessoa han kang helen macdonald henri bergson hermione lee herta müller jan zwicky janet malcolm jean rhys jeanette winterson jenny offill jessa crispin joan didion joke j. hermsen josefine klougart kate zambreno katherine mansfield kathleen jamie katja petrowskaja krista tippett layli long soldier leonora carrington leslie jamison louise glück maggie nelson marcel proust maría gainza marie darrieussecq marie howe marja pruis mary oliver mary ruefle olivia laing patricia de martelaere paul celan paula modersohn-becker piet oudolf poëzie rachel cusk rainer maria rilke rebecca solnit robert macfarlane robert walser robin wall kimmerer sara ahmed sara maitland siri hustvedt stefan zweig sue lloyd-roberts susan sontag svetlana alexijevitsj sylvia plath ta-nehisi coates teju cole terry tempest williams tjitske jansen tomas tranströmer valeria luiselli virginia woolf vita sackville-west w.g. sebald yiyun li zadie smith

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