Vernal

Spring’s buds ache into bloom, swell tighter
till they burst with blossom. The waxing moon casts
new rose-leaf shadows on the floor of the front porch.
Things grow, and it is not beautiful. The casings fall
and litter the ground. All these splitting pods must
scream in some way we can’t hear. The air’s too cold,
the frogs complain in the creek bottom. Today the sun
warmed, Saturday the sky will dust the earth with snow.
The spring rain drops its excess on all that lives
or not. Beneath the soil, the bulbs premeditate. By dark
of night the spears of grass get gilded. It happens
while we sleep. Next day they shed it, belying winter’s last
stab. But still: the pear trees vacillate, like a candidate
unsure of when to come onstage, who stops, then starts again.

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