A Poem For Sunday

Mallard Drake & Hen, no watermark

“Spring Uncovered” by May Swenson:

Gone the scab of ice that kept it snug,
the lake is naked.

Skins of cloud on torn blue:
sky is thin.

A cruelty, the ribs of trees
ribboned by sun’s organdy.

Forsythia’s yellow, delicate rags,
flip in the wind.

Wind buckles the face of the lake;
it flinches under a smack of shot.

Robbed of stoic frost, grass
bleeds from gaffs of the wind.

Rock, ridging the lake,
unchapped of its snowcloth, quakes.

But autumn fruits upon the water,
Plumage of plum, and grape, and pumpkin bills:

Two mallards ride, are sunny baskets;
they bear ripe light.

And a grackle, fat as burgundy,
gurgles on a limb.

His bottle-glossy feathers
shrug off the wind.

(From May Swenson: Collected Poems, Library of America © 2013. Reprinted with the permission of  The Literary Estate of May Swenson. All rights reserved. Photograph © 2013 Mark Seth Lender)