A winter storm makes land at dawn.
Surging seas. Valley snow down
to 100 feet. Schools already closed.

Here’s to one more day before brutal snow
shuts my garden down and sends me fireside.
Time, at last, to thaw out tired limbs and doze
without bark slivers in my hands or dirt
beneath my fingernails. I’ve grown weary
of the earth I’ve kneaded daily with intent.
From spring to early frost, perennials
fulfilled their promises and, without pause,
bulbs splashed colors on my plotted beds.
Now I’m done with mudding through autumn rain—
saving diehard blooms, erasing moss and weeds—
exhausted by the beauty I conceived.

And, yet … I’ve come to know myself enough
to know I’ll fret for phlox and bleeding hearts,
for jasmine climbing up the backyard fence;
for hostas, dahlias, daisies, roses, mums;
for everything I’ve grown to love. Before
daylight winds down and solar lights go dark,
I have it in me to push fatigue aside—
to prune, mulch, rake, appreciate one more
bedding down, one irreparable good-bye.
Then, let smirking clouds cascade from the Coast
and tomorrow’s dawn reap relentless snow.
I’ll design next spring from winter sleep.
Zetetic separator
—After forty years in the business and academic worlds, Carolyn Martin is blissfully retired in Clackamas, OR, where she gardens, writes, and plays with creative friends. Since the only poem she wrote in high school was red-penciled “extremely maudlin,” she is still amazed she continues to write. Her poems have appeared in publications across the US and UK and her second collection, The Way a Woman Knows, was released in February 2015 by The Poetry Box, Portland, Oregon (www.thewayawomanknows.com).


This poem also appeared in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volume V.

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