May 30

If this is the first day, if this is the last
it will be enough to have lived it
giving thanks for the red of the swamp
maple, the yellow of dandelion––
for lilac on the edge of the field
and red-winged blackbird’s pale blue
eggs spotted and scrawled with brown
and purple, hidden in a cup of marsh
grass, visible to One who watches over
and calls forth the life that stirs
in that reedy grass.

The Battle for Spring

The calendar says the eighth of March.
The porcupine says, good night.

What dreams does he dream, this porcupine
asleep in the woodshed of my writing house
on this rainy morning in early March?

Does he dream of the first green shoots
of spring he dined on only last week
before cold descended again like the fist

of Odin, freezing streams and ponds
in a single night, and reclaiming seasonal
sovereignty, until this rain broke through
like a Viking horde?

Gotcha!

The north wind turns its pockets
inside out and rain becomes snow,
blown with hurricane force, flung
hurly-burly against the pane
and unwinding over the fields
in a full-throated howl. I hear
the chuckle of March, like Lucy
with her football. She’s fooled
Charlie Brown once again.

Ssshshshh!

With a sudden rush of slush
off the roof
the mind comes fully awake
and the body alive with surprise.

The temperature at 35
and the coming storm delayed
made room for nature to shovel

yesterday’s snow. As with a good
sneeze, the system is shaken
as I am shaking now.