Linda M. Fischer: "Quickening"




A rat-a-tat from downspouts,

snow mounds steadily shrinking,

the sodden ground pooling

with each squinch of a shoe:

spring come late this year,

trailing March—snowdrops

inching up through layers

of tarnished wet debris,

their pedicels tipped in white;

daffodils, islands of fleshy

green bobbing in a sea of litter.


Impatient to slough off

the hyperborean coils of winter,

I venture outside to stoop over

snow-riddled gardens, intoxicated

by the first emblems of their renewal

cached beneath leaves and pine duff—

hellebores about to unwrap

their dusky maroon robes,

furled crocuses in purples

and gold waiting to be coaxed

open by a merciful sun.


The equinox has come and gone,

the earth poised for warming;

what is buried heaves up newly arrayed,

defying the last errant snowflake,

the waning ghost of winter—

days lengthening, tempering—

and I see three red-tailed hawks

low in the sky above my lawn,

wings outstretched, slowly gliding

upward toward the tallest treetops

and alighting, holding out for

sustenance as the morning keeps on—

its lifestreams flowing—

and I keep on, holding out for

the balm of flowers and birdsong.


Linda M. Fischer’s poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, Slant (A Journal of Poetry), Poetry East, Hotel Amerika, the Aurorean, Iodine Poetry Journal, Ibbetson Street, Mad Poets Review, and elsewhere.  She has published two chapbooks, Raccoon Afternoons and Glory (Finishing Line Press).