Not Yet Spring At The Pond
It is not yet spring at the pond.
The ice still clasps, in the shade,
the necks of weeds
bound all winter in the shallows.
Above, it is cold, still, blank.
Willows stand and, if watched, show nothing.
Below, in the war rooms of the mud,
algae scheme of sunlight and scum,
of climbing over rocks, eating
leaves, saturated, succulent.
In the catatonic carcasses of fish
chemicals mix, begin to stir.
Motors will move, scales twitch,
fins guide opened eyes.
Cold water now is clear. But
beginning spring who will win the water?
The groping lip, the filtering mouth?
Or splitting cells,
hanging down halls of light,
desiring to be so thick they can
caress, suffocate, cold-blooded fish,
bend them askew, off-course and down,
drive frog to loping across fields,
the great turtle to carrying its rock
toward a more habitable watery moon?
Or will some catch in the atmosphere
clear this water? Spread
those slimy bastards like dead mustard
across the mouths of bass, tadpoles,
old granite-backed snapper?
The willows will know.
The ice will be gone.
The weeds will aspire.
Here in the cold there is hope for all,
for it is not yet spring at the pond.
Gary R. Stephens
This is a poem by my friend Gary and he has a new book of poems coming out this spring.