Spring that year was late to the game,
The smelt snow a blizzard and then freezing rain,
The full moon in May was no day for planting,
Wet fields in June and farmers were ranting.
But through the good valley swam gaspereaux,
The fiddleheads green, the fish fat with roe.

Summer, that year, flew in fast and high,
Hot as Jamaica, new moon in July,
Hay fields checkered with great golden bales,
Larks in the meadow, frogs in the swale.
And down the good river tubes waltzed along,
Sun-burnt bellies and bop-a-longs songs.

September’s first shot was a Dorian blow,
Hard day on willows, creeks overflowed,
No hum in the wires, no gas in the tank,
Canned soup at noon and gadgets gone blank.
While plovers on mudflats feasted and flashed,
Shrimp in their bellies and sun on their backs,
And up on the Mountain, smooth yellow nights,
Venus bewitching in harvest moon light.

Autumn pressed in, kale stood the frost,
An early snow hung chandeliers, a sparkling weekend walk,
Long languid shadows, reflective canals,
Your face to the sun, my head in the clouds,
Black Lake, grey rocks, your flexing spine,
Oh slip, Oh slope, Oh heart of mine.

to be continued…

–Bernard Irvin