Tuesday, May 12, 2020

That It Was Springtime-- (Johnson)

Is that what we will remember?                a cold wet spring --  
everything      waiting                           as we were waiting    

as if holding                                      our breath   
the season      

too            waiting                              holding

its breath                            everything holding 

back     --       breath    --       buds     --     blossom    --

holding back                         holding

in                                                     holding

on                                                           holding

out ……………

We will remember                       that it was spring 

That we were          waiting           trying to stay 

whole            trying to stay          safe

trying to stay 


while everything     else     around us tried

to      leap forward     to

spring  --    

We will remember that we waited

and the blossoms bloomed 

at last 

in the year of the plague

Elsa Johnson was born in Cleveland Ohio in 1943 and has mostly lived here all her life. An undergraduate art and English major, she was mentored by poet Fred Eckman during his years at BGSU (see Over West) in the '60s. Elsa then studied English Literature at the University of Indiana at Bloomington, and taught (briefly) at the University of Akron. Sometime in the 1980s Elsa totally switched gears and went off to the Ohio State University to study and receive a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture, which she has happily practiced ever since. Around 2008 she became friends with poet Sarah Gridley and was returned to the practice of poetry, thus creating a full circle. She hopes to write poetry and create gardens and art for another 20 years. 


  1. Elsa, great to read another of your poems.

  2. Love this, love your garden (which I walk past often).

    1. hey --if you see me out there stop by and say hello