Matins for the Last Frost
Patient in their dark hibernacle 
wait the twinned lobes of the tulip bulb 
hanging like a semicolon 
in the endless sentence of winter; 
not yet the green shaft rips the paper tunic 
in its upward thrust, not yet knifes its tip 
through the topsoil, the stalk aspiring 
up to a swelling of petals, pale 
bud pursed and then loosened, deepening 
to red and unsealing itself sash by sash, 
a leggy dishabille in lipstick. 
  
Somewhere on the other side of town 
some bells begin to raise their brazen; 
everything is about to change— 
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