The Seasons of Love

In a water-heavy winter’s night*
when all the sky was lightning-lit
and thunder clapped from greenblack clouds,
halyards clanged against aluminum masts
on harbored sloops and yawls
outside the restaurant’s glass walls.
They watched the storm wreak havoc
and glared at each other across
cold silverware and wine glasses.
The flame between them flickered and flared
with each gust from open windows.
Only Vivaldi playing on the looped tape
told of the change of seasons to come
when the storms of l’inverno
would give way to the next movement
and the pleasant air of la primavera
would again bring smooth water in the harbor.

*“In water-heavy nights…”
from “Adolescence – I” by Rita Dove


Spring Comes to the City

Forsythia lets down its golden tresses
Rapunzel-like from still cold stone walls
around the Park where pear trees wear
what seems to be the last snow of the year —
a powdering of white that restaurants mass
extravagantly on mantelpieces and pianos.
Red-breasted harbingers light on grass
to see — Is the City ready yet? Still lifeless trees
scratch initials in a wet cement sky with twig fingers.
But in sad squares of dirt along cracked sidewalks
hope breaks through hard earth with green sabers
the tulips brandish, daring winter to try anything.
I forget that I am the age of winter and spring
with green steps through the Park. I might take wing.