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Our yard sits in shadow,
sliced into a second growth forest,
a fortress of thin, tall trees surrounds the house,
letting winter linger at the edges during March and April.

It is New England, after all.

Warming trends and balmy Midwestern winds
will blow up to the front door,
melting snow enough to see the mashed grass,
make visible the nascent buds on bushes and trees.
Skunk cabbage appears beside the brook,
and the tips of July’s day lilies push through the rocky flower bed;
these things can be counted on.

But near the driveway each year
a crescent of snow and gravel refuse a natural thaw.
This icy crust clings together,
a lump of false conclusion,
taunting me.

Left with only violence,
I take up the shovel,
stab the icy tumor till it comes apart,
kick the rest with my boot and
make certain that spring will come.

Karen Warinsky has published in various anthologies and literary magazines including the 2019 Mizmor Anthology. She is the author of Gold in Autumn (2020), Sunrise Ruby, and is a previous finalist in the Montreal International Poetry Contest. She loves to kayak and organize poetry readings.

© 2022, Karen Warinsky

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