POETRY by E. Louise Beach

SPRING

Sun shines on the melting bank,
the gruel-gray path.
Eaves of our stone
cottage sparkle with
dripping, light-
filled drops.

This morning, I learn again
how things quicken,
frozen to thaw, solid
to flow, how constant
is life’s trans-
formation.

At the wood, deer leave
uneven tracks.
Sparrows etch criss-
cross cuneiform
on the dying
snow.

I too bequeath my mark,
lend my bones their hour
on the land, sink
into the magic
of new
mud.

SWALLOWS
for Toots

At night, I watch the Swallows
on the porch. A pair of fly-catchers
swooping and building. It is spring again.

On a ledge above my head, they mold
tan mud into a cup. Their simple hold
will shelter this year’s crop of insect eaters.

I am rocking in my chair. The air
is warm and humid. Plentiful the bugs.
The pond abuzz with food.

Surely this is good: Swallows
and a nest. Rest at the end of a day.
Summer coming down a country road.

COUNTRY CHURCH

We sit on pine near the front
of the country church.
Light falls on fields outside
like lemonade from a pitcher.

You reach for the hymnal
and brush my arm.
We rise to sing and smell
the breath of roses at the altar.

The preacher lifts his hands
and voice in benediction.
Across the road, rum-brown
horses whinny in the sun.

E. Louise Beach is a teacher of languages and literature whose poems have appeared in various journals, including The Mid-America Poetry Review, The New Formalist, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and Wisconsin Review. Recipient of a National League of American Pen Women Scholarship, she recently wrote the libretto for the upcoming performance in New York City of The White Princess.