Late afternoon and the March wind
Has battered herself out.
I open the window, listening for tree frogs.
Not a trill; ice still deep on the pond.
Spring has hit the snooze button.

A flicker probes the shriveled grass,
For worms stirring in the soil.
Listen! Wing beats.
Straggling threads of Canada geese
Trail across the sky, heading north.

There’s a yellow sheen on the willow.
A shift in the earth’s chemistry.
The trickle of ice crystals melting,
And the bitter green scent
Of shepherd’s purse and hen’s bit.

Venus and the silver crescent rising.
A ’possum patters across the deck,
Poking its snout into damp corners,
Listening and hoping
To hear the mucusy slithering of a slug.

Coyotes rove through the fields,
Invade my dreams,
Yip and howl,
Snapping at each other’s heels.
Blood is up with the spring moon.

Startling me out of sleep,
The throaty love song
Of a barred owl
Wraps the woods in profundity
As continuous as Earth’s revolution.



  1. Murtagh's Meadow

    Beautiful – love the way you effortless bring the natural word into your poetry. Love the photo of the leaf caught in ice.

  2. Cynthia Jobin

    Just beautiful, Melissa. I feel like that leaf snagged in ice, up here in the foothills of western Maine, but the tiny subtle signs have begun, just as you observe them here. Listening for peepers is a perfect title.

  3. Argus

    Ditto above, especially the leaf peeping through the breaking ice. Dissolving ice? Melting ice … doomed ice. Whatever …

    Love it!

  4. Sunshine Jansen

    Only you could craft a line like “the mucusy slithering of a slug” and make it a sound that anyone would strain to hear. The peepers are late here this year too; I’m on pins and needles waiting for them!

  5. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

    I think you’d have to have excellent hearing for that, thank goodness. Thank you for your generous comment. Cheers to spring!

  6. neverest1

    Lovely writing, good poetic lines. Love the word “peepers” (had to go find a poem, out 25 years ago, when I just started.) Let me find the line. Well, here’s the poem, the line is Mosquito, frogs, peepers and rainfall. But enough, Great photo as well, you are blessed with an eye.

    In Mexico the people believe that when you die you only see the colour yellow, the colour of marigolds. Consequently, the Mexican people plant marigolds on the graves of their loved ones in order to lure them back to earth.

    Voyager Gold

    Marigolds dry on the windowsill–
    I wait.
    When you find me,
    we will hold each other.
    Sway to summer’s music.
    Mosquito, frogs, peepers, and rainfall.
    I’m in no hurry–
    I have waited
    slow months.
    Emptied my vases,
    then filled them.
    Scattered the floor with yellow.
    Money cannot bring you back,
    but these gold-peso petals
    will buy us a moment.
    I sit on the porch,
    and watch for you.
    In the company of
    sweet marigold murmurings.
    When you appear
    I hold out my hand.
    Then we dance.

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Laurie, what a gorgeous poem of yours. Thanks for sharing it. And thanks for the kind words.


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