Forest Sonnet, Whidby Island

(For a friend in grief, for the assurance of resurrection )

Now, no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
No mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.”

     –from “Spring and Fall,” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Here Sorrow springs and newborn Spring sorrows;
Their grief resolves in fiddleheads tomorrow.
The mournful poet sees the greening leaf
and vaults ahead to autumn’s parting grief….

An anticipatory grief, so-called.
Here last year’s leaves lie trodden, branch scraped-bald
From winter’s remnant grip. But see, as Spring
Flushes first rosy throat, as thrushes sing

God’s glory! Still, larks chirruping, skimming
The winds arise from southern vales, brimming
Their blessings upon the restive, waking Earth.
The forest floor will testify that birth

Sings from subsidence, converting death
God’s gravid Spirit– resurrection’s breath.

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