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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 4, December 2014

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Mary Frederick Ahearn
Pottstown, Pennsylvania, USA


Portents and Seasons

. . . And immediately
Rather than words comes the thought
of high windows.
The sun comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air that shows nothing,
And is nowhere, and is endless.

—Philip Larkin, High Windows

It's a hard Winter, bitterly cold with more snow than usual, resulting in many power outages. These are silent days filled with lonely, self-absorbed hours. Lately, though, Edith allows her thoughts to turn toward spring. She remembers the bulbs that she managed to put in before that first hard freeze. It had been a late November afternoon when, down the road and across the stricken fields, the wild geese on Bealer's pond took to the sky. Southbound at last, their harsh, excited cries haunted the gray air, filling the skies with exaltation.

late in winter
when blue evening
turns to indigo
dreams of roots and seeds
and starting over

One morning in April, there are strange cars in the drive. The small house is quiet, altered, waiting. Its curtains are drawn, the porch lights are still burning from the night before. People come and go, speaking softly, making plans, decisions. But below the house, the fields are a soft green haze and the geese are returning to the pond. In the flower borders, green shoots push through the dark earth.

last of the light
lingering
high in the trees
where bittersweet strays
and honeysuckle blooms

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