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?

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.