For Margie at the Solstice

So now begins the long gray trudge

from sleet to drizzle, the stingy sun

dragging its shroud across the brittle

sky, as night by night the darkness

yields an inch, and every touch

of planet earth’s deliberate tiptoe

times the magic moment when the willow branch will go from dun

to dream, luring your cautious steps

to the matted grass of spring, and I

will celebrate the sunrise gift

of your quick smile, bright as any

crocus when you point to it,

triumphantly: one purple blossom,

pushing through the snow.