First Signs of Spring: It’s Coming, All Right

Hints of Spring

Winter breaks;

spring might be

a constant action, but I’d swear

that it happens all at once, for,

just only the other day,

that near eternity away,

the day

was still, frozen winter,

only chickadees and Juncos

and dulled winter birds,

dripping snow,

and hissing wind

breaking the snowy sunlit silence.

But then, the day after the other day

the sun didn’t shine so weakly,

and there were robins, more robins

than the over-winter stay-at-home-mom-bins,

the never-migration nation,

new flocks flying frenzied,

cheerful chortling calls,

blazing breast, red;

and there are turkeys,

the whole pride,

expansive as a herd of buffalo,

spread out majesty

beneath the evergreens.

Then came the blue birds,

warm, deep, navy blue,

clear as a laugh, not like that swift

icy blue of those blue jays,

the flashing robin-like bellies emit sweet melodies,

robin-like songs,

they’re here early, for spring;

and I swear there

was just a glimpse of a chipmunk,

but now they’re


footprints scampering to and fro

over the snow although

the thaw’s faded and it’s not warm anymore. The great gargantuan gray

squirrels terrorize the bird feeder.

That soft silence is gone.

The melting snow

and subzero temperatures

are winter’s feeble attempts to freeze back spring

and win back the season,

but still the sun grows warmer,

the days yet get longer,

proud stand in the face of the bitter winds

and the March snowstorms.

We will wait: warm weather

with weary wayward winter

leaving, in its wake, peepers and flowers,

and fresh green leaves, grass,

and bugs–don’t forget the bugs,

those menaces that fill the air when the cold is gone. The trees

are shaking off the snow

like a down comforter

as it gets too warm in the early morning,

a heavy smothering layer that suffocates

as the sleeper wakes…

winter breaks.

I’m not too familiar with the seasons, given that I didn’t grow up where there were any noticeable ones. Therefore, I’m eager to witness the transition of winter to spring. You see, in my experience, it became “spring” on the 21st of March, exactly when you woke up. “Oh,” I would tell myself, “It’s spring,” and then work myself into a spring-like mentality. But now I’m noticing subtleties, exactly the opposite of autumn to winter; the sun’s beginning to feel warmer, the air less bitterly cold. Spring birds, chipmunks voles, and squirrels are starting to leave the places they spent the frigid months–and this winter, those months were very frigid indeed. I’m getting the impression that slowly, the world is thawing out, even though there are a few last “spring” storms in store for us out here.

What was most intriguing to me was that these little changes I described in my poem came about within a week or two. My bird feeder is being assailed by new, different creatures, (Such as a bear! I now have to dig up all the fallen seed and put the entire thing away for the summer.) and there are bird-songs hanging in the air that I haven’t heard before. It’s still quiet…but it’s not quite so lonely. So what if there have been a few more snowstorms and there’s another on the way? It’s slowly starting to get warmer outside, and winter can’t last forever….



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