Mud Season

Poem: Mud Season by Linda Whittenberg.
Published in Tender Harvest and Dying Can Wait.

Photograph - "Skull" by Teri Thomson Randall

Between heave of eastern hills and underbelly
of black clouds, dawn peaks rouge red.
Slush, gush of old galoshes, duct-taped at the toe.
Each step, swill and ooze of wetness.
Last night’s warm wind brought mud, mud, mud.
Snowmelt runs in rivers
down hill. Two dogs, one yellow, one gray,
act as sentries, on guard for coyote pack.
Mostly they bark joy
for goo and gunk of promised spring.

Eager equine at the gate, still wooly with winter,
whiskers and ears back-lighted
by flaming sky. Pocked paddock
slogged by horse hooves.
Miniature mud craters spill over with muck.
The hungry horses watch
as I split twine to set fat hay flakes falling.
Snorts and sneezes—
music as much as that of mockingbird
who sings muddy matins from the olive tree.