Sky blunders into trees.Yesterday I turned over the soil in two large garden beds, mulched paths, and hauled ten or so wheelbarrow-loads of composted manure for the garden space I've decided to reclaim from grass. My hope is to fill at least two of the new beds with ever-bearing strawberries, if I can find a variety to suit my terrible climate. Lettuce is sprouting in the greenhouse, and tiny blue scylla flowers are scattered along the stone wall. Daffodils and white forsythia are budding. The green tips of chives and green onions and garlic and sorrel are pushing through last fall's mulch. In the forest, pileated woodpeckers are screaming their love, and the paths are treacherous with pools of snowmelt.
A fox, back-lit, slips across the road
and vanishes into an ice-clogged culvert.
The town rises from its petty valley.Spring is why I love my forty acres of stones and snow. I lean on a mud-crusted shovel, breathing in the fragrance of thawing earth. A pair of jittering doves cuts a quick line through the wind. A brush of green tints the mole-damaged grass. Nothing around me is beautiful, but beauty is possible. There is a future. My friend Weslea, who spent our horrible winter undergoing cancer surgery, told me last week that she planted garlic in the fall with the assumption that she'd never see it. But now it is April, and she is alive and recovering, and her garlic is sprouting.
Crows, jeering, sail into the pines,
and the river tears at the dam.
Last autumn's Marlboro packs,
faded and derelict, shimmer in the ditch.