Poem for February 1

February 2: Groundhog Day/Celtic Festival of Imbolc The winter tips toward light and warmth today. Mink knows - he crossed the road to reach the brook; the crows flap closer, and have more to say.

Indoors, we empty shelves, sweep dusty nooks, bag up old clothes, consider, sort and clear, thin out for spring the crowded rows of books.

A neighbor calls - coyotes downed a deer; His children saw, his little daughter cried. Dark blood on snow marks too this day of year.

From Solstice cold we’ve watched the sunlight glide and grow to Imbolc - now the quarter’s crossed; we’re bound for Equinox on rising tide -

although, in part, it’s been a winter lost: ice, rain, strange winds, the snow that didn’t stay - our balance shaken as our weather’s tossed.

An owl calls out at noon. Two sparrows play - they court and chase, swoop down into the road. The year tips, and we hold our hats, and pray the sun is strong enough to light the way.

Kate Thompson 2/12