By Peter Halstead

We missed the winter here
(from incidents overly exuberant
with sun), but now
that spring has thickened,
and the snow lies moldering
in windrows, bright crops
of the declining dark
and futile grey, flurries
still descend from grimy
skies, rocks lie bald
on gardens shorn of birth
or roots, but dressed by
particles of doubt that
the season has disowned,
cold white sleet that ornaments
the pines in passing jewels
and dims the slanting hills
with bleached-out fog,
the season seems reversed
to us, waiting not for dawn
or bloom, but flying backwards
into dearth, the hardness
and distress that plants blossom
to escape the despair of earth
and stone, of tundra shorn of
hope or growth, of dirt alone
beneath our feet, ghost meadows
suspended still in the middle
of the mist, but in fact
we flourish in this dismal rout,
this vacant thirst for spore, because
I think we want the world to pause,
to think about it first before
the rampant leap to fruit and leaf,
to linger here in limbo with the dim
and tarnished land, to lie in indistinct
and vegetative blight, before the rush
to luminous and drowning light.