Poem: Groundhog Lies


Groundhog Lies

Snow falls outside.
White, feathery and cold,
it quickly covers the landscape,
winter run late.

The daffodils are still safely underground.
There is no hurry for spring,
no hurry for the first flowers.
The lilacs stand in waiting.

And so do you.

You are old enough
to know there is no power in forcing,
no power in hurry,
in trading time for the natural unfolding
that brings the best beauty,
the most lasting love.

You have learned to wait
caring less for the pace than progress,
knowing spring lies under the surface
and it will arrive in its own time.

So you wait.
You prune.
You prepare the earth when you can see it,
but not today.
Today it will snow,
but still, the flowers are there.
The wind is wild, angry and exuberant.
There will be no planting today,
no bringing the tender shoots and fragile buds to light
too soon;
no winter exposure, white and murderous.

Patience is less a virtue than a survival skill.
This is what you have learned.
A hard lesson followed by an easier one:
that spring always arrives,
no matter the mistakes.

About this poem. 

The first draft of this poem began “The groundhog was wrong.”, and was funny. Somehow it migrated to this. That may be the scourge of depression. Some days it erodes the light heart.

But it makes for good poetry. Everything is a tradeoff.

The picture of daisies was taken just down the road from me in West Pawlet, VT.

It really is snowing outside my window.



PS – from time to time, my poetry seems to have synchronicity with my work. Today was one of those days. If you are curious about how, you can read it on my work blog here.

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