Ephemeral Spring

from The Botticellian Trees by William Carlos Williams

The alphabet of

the trees

is fading in the

song of the leaves

the crossing

bars of thin

letters that spelled


and the cold

have been illuminated


pointed green—

by the rain and sun—


Days of sun, days of rain.  Then comes a string of  just-about-perfect days, the kind of days  people have been waiting for —oh, so impatiently—“Hurry up, Spring!” scrawled in chalk on the sidewalk.

Already, the lace of green is giving way to leaves.

Now, it’s May, and the lilacs are blooming. This is the time to gather morels, described so well in Illinois Outdoors.

It was the morels that got  me thinking of  ephemeral spring. In the Illinois woodlands (perhaps even some wild places in this city) are  jack-in- the-  pulpits and bloodroot—true spring ephemerals, as they appear and bloom before the canopy of leaves.

I remember a clearing in the woods, and a field of bloodroot. Each plant with a single, perfect white flower. Stems bleeding red sap  (hence the name) when we tried to pick it.

In the new-plowed fields,  farmers would find arrowheads. All the kids hunted for arrowheads, too–more elusive than morels.

And  while the sunny and warm weather lasts, farmers are out planting, making the most of  these ephemeral spring days, before the  rains, again.

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  • Very poetic, Weather Girl -- and well done! How good to find it here rather than in the forecasts I need instantly. Poetry can be weather recollected in tranquility, too!

  • Indeed, it can....

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