Spring Comes to Nova Scotia


Even at the close of May

the white birches seem dead

to the world this year. You force

yourself to look and wonder

what on earth could have caused

all the carnage. Acid rain,

perhaps, blown in from points

west or a blight that has settled

elm-like on a new set of hosts

or maybe one too many

westerly freezes. Whatever,


their limbs have sagged

and look ready to break,

their spotted bark undressed,

stripped naked and shivering

against the frost filled air.


But look closer, see the Zen

of tiny buds trying to live

in the moment, looking

like the upturned mouths

of mischievous children waiting

for the perfect moment to spring

their yearly surprise.


Rich Luftig