Spring came on schedule this year.
Everywhere I hear water running:
Wetness busily erodes our driveway,
Washes down McCoy’s Sabbath Day Trout Creek,
Leaving in its wake
Delicately shimmering dew-drop icicles.
And, disobeying gravity,
Courses up thirsty maples.
D–R–I–P, D–R–I–P, D–R–I–P is the order of the day.
The air melts in my mouth,
And I gobble warm sunshine.
Old tired snow bears earth-holes
That grow larger daily
To merge into great tears.
Our winter insulation is in tatters.
Lake Nubanusit moves restlessly
Under the ice, itching
Like some vast Paleozoic arthropod
That sheds its stiff skin yearly.
Worn, dead ice-scales
Creak, rasp, crack,
And heave up on shiny rock outcrops.
The beast gurgles softly in water notes
As its carapace splits and sloughs off.
And when the earth can hold no more water,
The sky holds some.
A damp wind gently tugs
Barely tan, parched beech leaves.
Belying their fragility,
They still cling to water-darkened twigs.
I gaze through suspended drizzle
At jagged tree skeletons
And the jumbled beaver lodge
The rain just unburied in the opening marsh.
I follow marsh drainage downstream
And through the mist
Glimpse the fluid shadow of a mink
Undulating along the bank
That blood is thawing
And that life is moving again.
Lake Nubanusit, New Hampshire, April 1, 1979
Hilary delighted in the messiness of New England mud season during spring thaw.