Three Poems ~ Robin Chapman

                                   March 25, 7 a.m.

Dear Ones–our wild backyard
is slowly showing up, snow cover
shrunk to patch, flattened thatch,
dried stalks–and chipmunks race
after each other, the rabbit
snuffles cracked corn and seed,
all of us impatient for new green–
in the bare tree tops the cardinals
find the rising sun, sing and sing,
while the robins, returned from
winter hunting grounds, hop
and scratch, hop and scratch
in the icy dirt. We put snow peas
into our garden plot just last week,
chiseling them into the frosty ground,
covering them with leaves. Five
turkeys, glossy in spring plumage,
walked the rows, looking for
something to eat.





Apples in Winter                 

I’m chopping two bags of Paula Reds, heaping
the pot with chunks that slowly crumple
to caramelized sauce, feeding the steaming,
cinnamoned lot to the food-mill, screening out
skin and pips to fill our Mason jars, lifted
from boiling water, with the sweet brown pulp
of apples, reducing two pecks to eight pints
pureed for grown-up taste and winter days–
apple butter, my mother called it, making us
sandwiches to pack for winter lunch.




                                     Early March,

Dear Ones— a foot of snow
sops up the all-day rain
that should mean spring–
sops, and freezes, crusts
and puddles, slick as the lake
iced over, then pebbles
and calves, crunches, resists–
we’re captive still to our wish
for a safe place to place
a foot. The ice fishermen
have taken down their huts
and sit on their buckets
in shirt-sleeves, talking catches
in the bay, and the sandhills
and red-wings linger south
of our polar vortex, waiting
for places to nest.