Smiling at a Crocus in the Snow

flower sprout from the ice covered ground
A purple-blue intruder 
violates Winter’s reign of white.
Peeking through the snow,
a sign of Spring long before
we dare to even look for
any other signs.

Is this, I wonder, a wanton act
of insolance or resiliance,
awkwardness or arrogance,
stupidity or impatience, 
knowing that the flower 
will soon freeze and wilt.

Standing in the snow,
smiling at the surprising scene
through the scarf drawn across
my chin and over my ears, 
I look down at this little wildflower
and would like to think so…

Russell Willis

Russell Willis emerged as a poet in 2019 with the publication of three poems in The Write Launch. In 2022 he won the Sapphire Prize in Poetry in the Jewels in the Queen’s Crown Contest (Sweetycat Press). Russell has published poetry in over thirty online and print journals and twenty print anthologies. He grew up in and around Texas (the home of bluebonnet fields that stretch to the horizon) and was vocationally scattered as an engineer, ethicist, college/university teacher and administrator, and Internet education entrepreneur throughout the Southwest and Great Plains, finally settling in Vermont (with its Winter-defying crocuses) with his wife, Dawn. Russell’s website is