Easter Vigil

Not her usual peppy self
The puppy lags behind on leash.
Halfway out the morning trek
She squats: a gush of slimy blood.

That afternoon we set out,
The dog remains behind,
Lying in her corner bed,
Eyes half glazed, belly rumbling.

We cross the concrete bridge,
Bushwack through the woods,
Wander along an ancient bluff
Above the rushing river.

We find a forest trail,
Follow it up a steep incline,
March down a dirt path
Into an unknown ravine.

I recognize finally the brook.
The blue-blazed trail we sought
Leads us up the ridge
And to the cliffs beyond.

I point out the old railroad bed,
Where formerly it snaked through town,
The school, the mill, the pub,
Our house tucked beneath the pines.

The wind bites hard,
Watering our eyes.
We turn and descend
Back through the forest.

Near the river’s edge
Without warning they appear:
Hoards of yellow parasols
Among the mottled green:

Trout lilies, nearly a month early.
Spring beauties, fairy spuds,
A stand of whit squirrel corn,
Seasonably out of season.

Back home, from her sick-bed,
At the sound of footsteps,
Cold-nosed, the pup is risen
To dance and bark our return.

2012 © Brian T. Maurer

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