Thursday, March 10, 2016

A New Poem for Early Spring

Wake to Warmth, Light, and Song

Three days ago, snow covered the ground,
But today I hike in 70-degree sunshine—

What is it? Late late winter?
Early early spring?

The woods seem dormant still,
But fringing the wetlands I see pussy willow bloom,
And in the mud flats flags rise up six inches, cattails really,
And skunk cabbage in its strange purple swirl—
This swamp is a furnace of heat and life,
Even in the winter.

I notice swollen red maple buds in the wet woods
And hear more bird song than I’ve heard in months—
Cardinals, redwing blackbirds, mourning doves,
And all the invisible, to me, birds
Who, on treetops, sing like coloratura sopranos.

And then, near the marsh, I hear
For the first time in ten months
The joyful chorus of spring peepers.

We have survived the silence, the darkness,
The barrenness: we wake to warmth,

To light,
To song!

                        [Bob Coughlin / March 10, 2016]

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