SPRING MELT, oil on canvas, 20×16
Geese zigzag overhead, redwing blackbirds pepper
leafless oaks and maples, crimson patch and yellow stripe
as lyrical and comforting as their shivering trill.
Pale goldfinches flutter to feeders, sheltered by hemlock.
I think of Charles Dickens walking London’s dung-filled streets
as I straddle mud season, setting out early to avoid the muck
before the ground thaws; or lost lives of Ukrainian refugees
trudging endless miles, searching blindly for a bite to eat, a place to rest.
The sun’s slanting rays lengthen and sap runs like blood
as birthing sheep and goats grow big and vernal streams and lakes
slowly overtake the fields, rising as the snow sinks.
Soon the primal song of peepers will scent the air like maple steam
and crocuses unfold and pollinate.
Ignorant of our aims or suffering, the stream overflows its emerald banks.