Now muddy earth, with gulping gasps of Spring,
Emerges from the crusts of icy snow
As sticks and rotten leaves, also thrusting
Their way through sodden mulch, presage new growth.
No warmth of Sun yet draws fresh green growth up,
No dry ground yet invites my hand to sow
New seed from old saved fruits of Summer’s crop,
Nor allows overwintered greens to show.
Still, Black Dog pauses as he picks his way
Along the thin path worn through snow to grass
To catch and hold the scents of what decays
To make the soil of Spring a living mass.
So first to know the Dawning of the Spring
Is an old dog who cannot hear a thing.