You’d think it was lovely enough
in spring when its constellation
bloomed till petals turned to rust,
and it had nothing more to tell us,
but when frost roughs the step,
and sleet needles the roof,
and the sky is a blur of gray,
the buds sleep in velvet cases
that shine along branches
and keep faith with the future.
It will be May. The wakened
white stars lambent as flame.
Miriam Levine is the author of The Dark Opens, winner of the Autumn House Poetry Prize. Her other books include three poetry collections; Devotion, a memoir; In Paterson, a novel; and A Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England. Levine’s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Paris Review, Ploughshares, and Southern Review, among many others. She is Poet Laureate of Arlington, Massachusetts.