Waiting for Spring

Under the last of the snow the trees

Wiggle their roots; the warming sieve

Awakens branches and their twigs

That stood numb with cold for months.

Last evening before supper

Half a dozen young deer galloped

Through the yard, their sound

A surprising stampede of happiness.

Booming birdsong, as if the hearing

Itself has sharpened in our bodies,

And windows are raised, doors flung open,

Our eyes train on imagining new buds.

But it is fraught, all is fraught this spring

When the mind rushes everything in

To offer consolation: when the blue jay

Is perceived to have arrived to cheer us up.

We have not left the island in one year,

No one has crossed our threshold,

We remained closed in, in the house,

The way the trees seem dead in winter.

Half a million dead: who can count on

The accuracy of the number?

The earth groans with the cadavers of those

Who last year went about their worries

With notepads filled with things to do,

Bills to pay, families to feed–

Just when the world came to a halt

“only temporary” like an unplanned vacation.

 25 February 2021

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