Today's poem is by Charles M. Israel, Jr.

Spring and Winter, Coeval

The snow was flying, like white willow cotton.
This year, Spring has come again,
And the willow cotton is like snow.
      —Su Tung P'O (1036-1101)

In their blue cups the crocuses
hold a brief spring snow. Why is
this the sort of country winter
can't seem to pass over? It may

be that the Kalamazoo River,
chunked with ice, has abandoned
fishing nets lacing its cold water,
as if reason could snare hope.

Or, it may be that the Pottawatami
once built their stony weirs across
the river and waited for whatever
the rivergods left. I wish it were

so easy. Either answer feel like
spring, tucking herself into old tires
that bump along their banks, floating
past winter, all the way downstream.

Copyright © 2004 Charles M. Israel, Jr. All rights reserved
from Crazyhorse
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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