Blackberry Winter

by Robyn Campbell

Another storm has the neighbors’ chickens
all lumped together and subdued, so
I can’t hear them from my attic room.

Rain has thrown itself
for days against the roof.
“What is the cruelest month?” people ask.

Last year I watched a man
put one poor frozen bird
in a garbage bag at the end of winter;
it had been stuck in a corner of the coop.

That’s what Spring does: uncover
what you thought was gone, flood
the dirt and leave you to wonder
which is meaner-
the freeze or its long thaw.

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