April by Jean L. Kreiling


A bit of green pokes up through stone-cold dirt,
and petals start to open here and there,
but it’s a struggle; timid thaws will flirt
with freezes all month. April doesn’t care.
Cadenzas on the wing proclaim good news,
then disappear for days, confused or peeved
when blue skies beam, then darken like a bruise,
the atmosphere itself unsure or grieved.
We put away our shovels, on the chance
that spring will stick—the calendar can’t lie,
we think—but we join in the fickle dance:
we keep at least one pair of gloves nearby.
The cruelest month, short on civility,
will teach us patience and humility.

by Jean L. Kreiling, first published in The Lyric 95/1 (Winter 2015):  27.

Editor’s Note: “it’s a struggle” is the perfect description of the extremes of April weather. This sonnet carefully constructs the season within its perfect iambic pentameter, yet the meaning is never overshadowed by the form.


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