Posted February 02, 2015:

by Scott Eagan, a Madonna House farmer.

The month
that broke the back of winter.

That poor old back
locking us into a laborious, frozen life—
it couldn’t hold its silent weight forever.

Sun arcs higher, days lengthen,
a bit of melting power emerges,
shadows shorten.

We begin to wave good-bye
to tree-snapping, deadly nights.
A little hope visits us;
a flapping crow passes over.

Horses stand, backs broad-wise
 to the south’s warming globe,
winter coats absorbing,
steaming in the still chilly air.

Logging days in the bush—felling, limbing,
skidding, and bucking up
leafless, sleeping trees.
The woodpile grows—
winter heat and cheer for next year.

We prepare, and we think ahead to next month,
of tapping maple trees,
of golden syrup sweetening crepes,
like February sun on snowy fields.

Februa—purification, cleansing of the land,
a scouring with beautiful white crystals, suspended rest.
Winter, its back broken, limps away,
and spring slowly yet surely marches in.


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