Cause of a Poem
by Andrea L. Alterman

Pink on the underside of a seagull’s wings
this morning as I looked up to see
what the sky was like after I finished
pulling the paper out its blue plastic bag,
I saw it outlined against the belly of a
six o’clock cloud, half dark receding
into coral rays beginning to reach the tips
of those tall maple tree buds that haven’t
yet started to swell in anticipation of a
nascent spring, coming but not yet here,
there is no scent of damp unthawing earth,
red winged blackbirds have not arrived
with their curling voices which carry over
last summer’s fully grown now hollowed
out reeds, so stiff that they have stayed intact
from roots to awn those stems are pecked
by downy woodpeckers, their usual trees too
cold or iced to yield much more than shards
of wood and larval impressions without taste,
but the hint of snow receding has begun.

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