Originally this poem was called “Waiting for Easter” because I was thinking of the hopelessness of that long, dark stretch of desolation that sometimes comes right before the early spring. Then I changed it to “A Waking” in honor of Theodore Roethke’s “The Waking,” and his greenhouse poems. I wrote this in an interesting Welsh rhyme scheme suggested to me by one of my early poetry mentors, Patrick Worth Gray. The pattern is A/B/B with the A rhyme repeated at the beginning of line two and the middle of line three.
Winter is over; spring has not yet come.
Summoning your last reserves of good will,
Breathe on your numb fingers, hoot at the chill.
Thick clouds may crowd low, shrouding the sky
While under sodden mud, corroded snow,
Bulbs, tender as a sigh, begin to grow.