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Poem: Early, early Red-winged

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Posted on March 1, 2017 | Blog Category:
By Gary Margolis



Early, Early Red-winged

 

There must be a mistake.

It’s not March yet.

That black bird’s sitting on a back

 

field fence. No other one’s

in sight.

No friends or strays

 

who’ve left their

warmer place.

Maybe he never left.

 

So it could seem as if

he was first back

ahead of spring.

 

Although

spring arrives after

the frost’s out,

 

the mud gone.

Vermont’s fifth

season.

 

When the snow leaves

and a crocus is seen

blossoming on the south

 

side of a sun-drenched

house. He doesn’t know

what to make of his

 

loneliness.

I can tell its him

by his shoulder stripe.

 

How he throws his head

back as if he’s trying

to clear his throat

 

of snow.

What I think I’d do,

if I thought I was alone,

 

needing to raise a feeling

first, before the others appear,

days and months

 

from now. Filled with enough

sun, spring and summer.

Fall, when all their notes

 

have been sung.

Their throats raw with singing.

to their friends and relatives.

 

If, I’m not mistaken, who know

better than to be here

early. Like those budding

 

blossoms, apples-to-be

better left inside themselves.

Now it’s time to say,

 

if not to write. Red can

wait. And that white stripe

on her wing.

— Gary Margolis, Cornwall

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