COME GENTLE SNOW
Come gentle snow and cloak the ground,
Shroud budding branches all around,
Let not one scent of spring be found,
Make flowers wait.
Come frost and freeze the throbbing juice,
Break March’s short and shaky truce,
No sprout nor songbird yet aloose,
Let spring be late.
Come wind and make the oak leaves hiss,
When they descend no one will miss
Their brittle shade — no artifice
Can bring them back.
Come night and steal the season’s gain;
The verdure will begin to wane
Despite the wealth of easy rain
If it stays black.
Come sleep and shield me from the past,
Help me forget her I loved last,
Wrap safely me in sanctums vast,
Away from pain.
NOTES: We had one of those late snowfalls last week. This time of year in Western Washington, there are already signs of spring. Those signs were utterly–but temporarily–obscured by the snow.
Nearly 40 years ago when I wrote this poem protesting spring, I was an unrequited, tragic romantic. O woe was me! I thought I’d never be happy again. Of course, I was wrong.
Today, I still dread the onset of spring, but for different reasons. When March comes, the alder tree pollen starts to bloom. And that’s when I start sneezing.
If I can just make it through March to April I should be fine.