Spring by Mary Oliver

This week has been half term and it has ended with some gloriously mild and spring-like weather. We definitely need this in the interminable lockdown and feeling of the never-ending winter. The snow was great, don’t get me wrong, but then the grey, meh days were not. And the ice did mean going out was er interesting. So, some beautifully mild weather has been very welcome and this week’s poem is in honour of the promise of Spring, the end of lockdown (well at least easing) and knowing that things will change. Somehow, some way.


And here is the serpent again,
dragging himself out from his nest of darkness,
his cave under the dark rocks,
his winter-death.
He slides over the pine needles.
He loops around the branches of rising grass,
looking for the sun.

Well who doesn’t want the sun after a long winter?
I step aside,
he feels the air with his soft tongue,
around the bones of his body he moves like oil.

downhill he goes
toward the black mirrors of the pond.
Last night it was still so cold
I woke and went out to stand in the yard,
and there was no moon.

So I just stood there inside the jaw of nothing.
An owl cried in the distance,
I thought of Jesus, how he
crouched in the dark for two nights,
and floated back above the horizon.

From Poetry, April 1990.

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