At the Edge of Spring

All fall and then all winter

I meant to prune

the spent asparagus ferns.

Now, hidden beneath the dry stalks

and lush encroaching oxalis,

Tom and I discover fat spears

pushing up from the earth.

A white tulip peeps from under the hopseed,

and jasmine shares the first fruits

of its fragrance with the bees and me.

Workdays that began and ended

in the dark two months ago

are now bookended by light,

and the slate blues of my winter doldrums

are yielding to pastel hues.

Within me optimism stirs

like a chick inside an egg

who hears her mother’s chirps and coos.

This school year,

my last as a college librarian,

is exactly half over,

and I feel change coming

like the light

slowly swelling the days.

What used to weigh heavy

is starting to slip away.

Already I delete incoming emails

that no longer apply to me.

Soon I will shred papers,

give away office curios,

and on the last day

surrender the keys

that have been for twenty-one years

in my safekeeping.

For now, though, I am waiting

as I started to wait

when I planted bulbs last fall.

What colors will bloom?

Which flowers will flourish?

With gratitude to Lea Haratani for the title

Published by

Mary Camille Thomas

Mary Camille Thomas is a native of Santa Cruz, California who considers herself lucky to have returned after living internationally and on the road. She is a librarian by profession, and her poetry has appeared in The Moving Force Journal, Porter Gulch Review, and Sisters Singing. She is currently working on a novel called What Lies Buried and a collection of poems of the spirit.

13 thoughts on “At the Edge of Spring”

  1. Hi,

    I love your reflections in this poem – the gestation process as change comes. And that you express it through plants pushing up and colors shifting from slate blue to pastels. And I’m so happy that you will be moving into this new life phase very soon.

    Was great to see you at Kat’s reading. I was sorry not to be able to finish our conversation there – it seems you were just about to tell me about someone really interesting that you were reading or listening to, when someone came up and said hello. Maybe when you are in your new phase of life with more time, we can get a cup of tea and have a leisurely conversation about our blogs and writing and reading.

    Take care, Marilyn



  2. “Change coming like the light slowly swelling the days…”
    delicious language! Lovely poem! Can’t wait to see all the colors waiting within you to burst forth at retirement…I can already see so many peeking through!


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