On Easter Saturday Bells Whacked the Air

Pet dogs help children. Spring after spring
two blaze-white Samoyedes sped me out
to my relief to run
into a new hush after the last noon clang
of church bells, rung ringing since dawn
to proclaim Easter Saturday—
                        big bells, high up, and all of them
at once, let loose, a deafening glory

for my city of muted immigrants, plenty
of Catholics, bells just a few blocks apart,
Italy, Poland, Ireland, Germany, & Spain,
their metal tested, their cast full-voiced
non-liturgic, jubilee, wake up, hear this, look
out, resurrection, halleluia in yanked abandon
all morning —
                       avenue traffic drowned out,
backyards & alleys humming in soundsurge,
and my breath a strong pulse
of everywhere hooray--no synchrony
no harmony no purity just hooray

just giant jubilee noise, dogs of course
not liking it, but for me utter
exultation rampant, though I loved my dogs
and took the run they gave me exulting
This is the day that the world hath made.
Rejoice and be glad therein.

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About the Author

Marie Ponsot recently received the Aiken Taylor Award for poetry, given annually by Sewanee Review. Collected Poems (Knopf) will appear in 2015. In 2013, she was awarded the Ruth Lily Prize for lifetime achievement by the Poetry Foundation. Marie was one of Commonweal's poetry editors from 1979 to 1985.