06 June 2006

Poetry on Tuesday - M. Wizard

The Last Spring

This is the last spring for these few remaining vacant lots

down south of the river.

The signs are already posted:


The college even wants to turn the old golf course,

home to deer and coyote still,

into more cookie-cutter condos.

Five years ago, the creek was home to herons and big turtles.

Fifty years ago, this was all farmland and open woods.

Next year, it will be clear-cut, under construction, civilized, gone.

The small rains we had last week

have decked the woods in color.

A big mesquite, on the only corner without a gas station,

is covered in yellow flowers.

Does it know that this is the last spring?

Is its bright display a desperate bid for attention,

a vegetative cry for help?

Quick!! Save the tree!!”

Or is it as blessedly oblivious to the bulldozers one street over,

raping a woodlot,

as we are to whatever Fate awaits us?

Sharp thorns and bitter beans cannot defend against

inevitable annihilation;

no more than sharp words and bitter tears;

nor can bouquets stave off the Reaper

from deathbeds, or hillsides for sale.

This is the last spring, and I must get out there;

scramble in the creek, tear my jeans sliding down a muddy bank,

get into poison ivy no matter how careful I am;

must come upon the mother duck teaching her babes to swim,

spy the shy violet's shaded face,

see tiny caterpillars that may be butterflies next month, bar the birds,

eating leaves on trees that will never leaf again;

must bear witness and do honor to Earth’s creatures who may or may not know that

this is the last spring down here, south of the river.

Mariann Garner-Wizard

April 2006

Riverside & Montopolis Drs.

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