“Spring” Featured on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrision Keillor April 8, 2014

 Apr. 8, 2014

After the rain, outside
the barred windows
of the classroom
tiny black birds
are bathing in puddles
beneath the oak trees.
Dipping into the icy water,
they shake their feathers
with such joy that their song
pulls us from our seats—
out onto the steps
where my students and I
walk into the first sunlight
we’ve felt for days
to watch them dance.

The birds remind me
of the Chinese peasants
I read about in college.
Sitting in the sunshine
on the first day of spring,
after cutting the quilted
clothes they were sewn
into for the long winter,
they gathered outside
to pick fleas from the sour
cotton lining of their jackets
and flick them at each other;
ducking and laughing
in the bright air,
while their children
ran naked into a pond
filled with melting snow.

“Spring” by Marjory Wentworth from New and Selected Poems. © The University of South Carolina Press, 2014. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

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