A St. Patrick's Day Poem



By the Ides, we gauge our days

against the rising line of sunslant,

count each icy storm as our last.

Donning green on St. Patrick’s Day,

at altars and on trudges to barns,

we dare to ask for warm blessings

in a world still stubbornly dormant,

until, slow as a son learning his lesson,

the red stem of the thermometer blooms.

Mudcrust dissolves into slush,

frozen creeks give way to flow

and, magically, lacey fiddleheads

unfurl like girls on Easter morning.

From deep in pine-mulched beds,

pink crocus shout, surprise,

and, along the road, redbuds

write their melodies on the clefts

of winter-emptied trees. Though we weep

and wheeze with the season,

we know miracles begin here:

Green follows the gold of pollen.

Barren ground gives way to seeds.

And mushrooms bloom in dew-soaked soil.

As we head to the garden to turn

the soil for another year, thrilled

as new parents, we pucker our lips

to mimic the fiddler’s tune our father whistled

on his way out the back door to dig

each splendid March – his Irish lilt,

the surest sign of Spring.

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