Prevernal Chesapeake by Carol “Jane” Hagen

There is none of the electricity of winter

in the marshland spring rains.

Instead, they roll in on the humidity,

oppressive and swollen.

The peepers are the first to announce the new arrivals.

Their prayers that their quickly filling vernal pool houses

might stay long enough for the eggs they will soon lay

echo against the walls of fresh growth around them.

The deer head, severed, buried, and forgotten last season,

comes uncovered in the first swell of the storm,

picked clean and waiting now for its next purpose.

The half sheltered floor, not quite sand and not quite soil,

lays covered with the fall’s detritus.

As the water pushes the decay down past the surface,

the forest begins feeding itself to itself.

The world is not being reborn, but merely waking up.

Once I gift the winter’s ashes from the fireplace to the garden,

I open the windows to the wet gnat and pine pollen breeze,

listening to the creaking protests as the distended air

dampens and swells the house’s wood beams and furniture.

I spend the day listening to the awakening stretches of it all.

What a miracle to have woken up at all, especially to this.

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