2021 Poetry Broadside Submission 30: PROLONGED WINTER By Sondra Porter, Trapper Creek

By Sondra Porter, Trapper Creek


I am waiting, impatiently, six feet behind a man
Who drones on, “Spring is early, won’t see another dump,
Snow’s going fast, I’m taking my snow tires off.”
Me? I am waiting to take my snow tires off
I am waiting for clearer signs of spring
For songs to return to the forest, for fiddleheads to push up
For lightness to find me, fill me, and dry up my muddy puddles
Only then can I change tires, pack away the snow shovels and loss
Only then can I mend my leaky boots, surely another season’s worth left in them
Only a month ago I vaguely wondered if another season’s worth was left in me

We’ve had a prolonged winter
Cold, dark, isolation haunted me, bones ached from inside out
In the dark months, I dwell in dark places
This year the places became darker
I held onto sadness, ancient and recent loss
I longed to escape into a kinder season, another dimension
But I’ve been around enough to know
This guy may be right or he may be wrong
Longer days awaken us yet the light can still hold a chill
I know early signs to be mostly fickle even as trees hint green
Too often I have been lured into early planting
Then suddenly winter surges and out come the shovels again

Maybe by late May, I will take off the snow tires
I can take a cleansing breath
Exhaling what is left of winter
Raise my gaze to the bright, warm sky
Two shots arming me against illness
I will journey forward into the verdant time
I will see signs of rebirth
Like spring, I will emerge cautiously
Warding myself against setbacks
As I thaw and shed layer after layer

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