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Blackberry Winter

by Mary Brunini McArdle

February false springs, balmy breezes
Bringing tropic fragrance from the Gulf
And a sudden rush of gladness.
If it would only stay...

Bitter days through March, snow flurries;
No barefoot sandals for a while,
No cotton dresses for the toddler girls;
Then flooding rains and weather warnings:
Sirens, schools let out, tornado terrors.

At last the days inch into April,
And the air begins to warm...
Everywhere the short-lived pear and cherry trees,
And gold forsythia, sometimes an understudy
For the sun.

It’s mid-April, Easter’s here —
The last cold snap that always comes.
Gone now, it’s gone.
But wait — we forgot something — we forgot!
The blackberry bushes are heavy, not yet
With fruit, but with a profusion of
White blossoms.

There will be two more frosty days:
Because it’s blackberry winter.

Copyright © 2009 by Mary Brunini McArdle

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