An Ode to the Rain
Drip drip drip — do you hear the rain?
Gentle patter of raindrops on the blanket of snow;
Thin curtains of water stream from ice-covered eaves;
What were once fragile crystals turn to globules sinking low.
Drip drip drip — today, the wind changed;
Warm breezes blowing kisses from southern climes,
Scented with green growing things and the promise of life,
Shaking loose the clumps of snow from the spreading pines.
Drip drip drip — not over yet; the forecast includes flurries,
A mixed bag of precipitation that’s chill and wet;
But the rain — oh, the rain — a sign of things to come,
It’s a shift in the pattern, though real change is weeks yet.
The snow fell feathery-light and settled into heavy mounds,
Drifting and piling on the whims of moving Arctic air.
Each day, she forged a path in a deepening canyon of white,
Though the cold pained her feet, numbed her toes, frosted everywhere.
She did her business in the snow, keeping to the clock,
Trotting back and forth as quickly as she could;
Some days were harder and the work didn’t come
Until she was so desperate she thought she’d explode.
No chain ’round her neck, for she couldn’t go far,
The wintry landscape her only real prison, and puzzle.
The world limited to a maze of dug-out paths and trails,
Icing her whiskers and freezing her muzzle.
And then . . . days of warmth return, shrinking the snow;
Her beaten path becoming a haven of solid ground,
As the field around her softens into morass and mud,
Treacherous to even the most experienced hound.
And as it melts, the fruits of her business reappear,
The labour of each day in each week of long months;
Her pieced contribution to the cycle of life that starts with the bugs,
She checks each deposit to see what changes have come.
The work of a winter unveiled in the spring,
No seeds are these from which flowers will grow . . .
Neither great brown beans nor wooden logs has she made,
Thawing and gelling in the slushy snow.
She watches where she steps, sees with dispassion
As the humans curse and check their boots,
In the springtime air, they ought to know as they venture
To avoid stepping into the piles of her poop.