Signs by Anne Whitehouse

A brief April snow disrupted our spring.
Amid clumps of snow, daffodils
nodded in the icy breeze. A glaze 
of snowflakes sugared the hyacinths.

I worried for them and the tender lettuces,
red and green, I’d only just planted.
But the sun came out; by mid-morning,
the snow was gone as if it hadn’t come.

You’d have to be able to read the signs—
the water drops glistening gaily
on the new leaves, the green moss
wet and velvety, the bushes slick.

Perhaps patience is the key, I thought.
How hard it is to wait out a siege.
The enemy is the invisible virus,
and there is no way out but through.

Once it has passed, we will have to know 
where to look to spot the absences 
only glaring for those who miss 
what has ceased to exist.


Anne Whitehouse is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Meteor Shower (Dos Madres Press, 2016). She has also written a novel, Fall Love, which is now available in Spanish translation as Amigos y amantes by Compton Press. Recent honors include 2017 Adelaide Literary Award in Fiction, 2016 Songs of Eretz Poetry Prize, 2016 Common Good Books’ Poems of Gratitude Contest, 2016 RhymeOn! Poetry Prize, 2016 F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum Poetry Prize. She lives in New York City. www.annewhitehouse.com

 

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