Didn’t mean to go this far,
but my insistent terrier – all eight pounds
– tugs me toward the lumbered steps
that lead beyond the woods onto the bluff.
Lingering patches of last Monday’s snowfall
make me step careful, leaning wary on the cane,
while savoring the icy crunch of boots, crisp imprints
where, till then, only dainty-hoof deer had trod.
Leaning across the split-log fence along the edge,
I pause to monitor the gulls patrolling of the shoreline,
check out a bobbing congregation of brown ducks
and eiders – no tiny brood as yet, to cluster alongside.
The sun, through snowbank-heaps of cloud, transforms
the surface dark-blue/green to momentary swaths
of vivid aquamarine, out there toward the horizon.
While to the north, along the bay, distant figures
of other walkers with their ecstatic off-leash companions
swirl the sands of Higgins Beach. And in the woods behind
the silent sap is headed upward, long dormant foliage
is pressing hard against old winter’s buds, bulbs
are slowly swelling, roots beginning to draw energy
from the raw mix of winter’s mulch and new-melt water.
All hail, O blessedness and holy mess of mud.
I raise my heavy laden boots to meet
and greet your sacramental advent.