Late Winter Storm

crocuses growing through the snow
Sun tangles in tree branches on the hillside,
ignites in high windows; and, under stone, 
flames on the black creek.

Sleet and snowflakes whipped and smoothed
spark in miniscule prisms. Not yet dirty, 
remarks an unsmiling passerby. 

Sun drags light and violet shadow 
over a surface we think of as white and pure. 
A dog, unleashed, plunges into a bank 
and pulls out a stick, a root. 

Under the snow, wet dirt waits for the release 
of a massive army of impatient green blades, 
a catastrophe of spring flowers.

Mary Elizabeth Birnbaum

Mary Elizabeth Birnbaum was born, raised, and educated in New York. Mary’s translation of poet Felix Morisseau-Leroy has been published in The Massachusetts Review, the anthology Into English (Graywolf Press). Her work is forthcoming or has recently appeared in Lake Effect, Spoon River Poetry Review, Barrow Street, and elsewhere.