Stacie McCall Whitaker - Stone Coast, Maine

Late to Spring

Written By: Robert Malloy

Sure sign spring has come
to the Northeast, how
this ground takes in
your spade to its haft;
other signs were missed—
as you rolled
through the Pacific Northwest,
its wide-open towns
wrapped in native names,
the snowpack quietly removed
from around your empty house—
and while you tunneled
Snoqualmie Pass, with burlap nets
cloaking its roadside ledges,
back home, jagged-yellow coltsfoot bolted
through stale brown leaf mat,
the juncos and veeries flew
in, and the bears,
sleep-warm and haggard, emerged
to snoop for new grass, berries, and
fawns left unwatched;
then, as you slogged
up the hills and
one-way streets
of Seattle—eyes and ears
to the GPS of your phone—
a just-bought
blueberry honeysuckle,
its pale roots mummified
in wet newsprint, threw
buds and a few spindly flowers
in your dark, cool basement,
thousands of miles
away; and now you’re back,
an empty house
no more, and Lonicera caerulea,
she’s ready
for the earth, how
you’re ready, at last,
for your small piece
of earth.

About the Author

Robert Malloy / Late to Spring / Stonecoast Review / Issue 7 / Summer 2017

Robert Malloy is a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA program (January ’11); since then, his poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, The Café Review, Pinyon, and Permafrost Mag. With his wife and daughters, he divides his time between Maine, the state of his birth, and Tacoma, Washington.