Already the sun has lapped the snowdrifts

clean from the yard. Now it comes begging

at the kitchen window, as though each pane


were a sheet of ice or the glaze on a cake

to celebrate the end of something. Winter,

maybe. But the soil rests untilled,


the seeds unplanted. I shield my eyes

from the glare. It asks too much too soon:

we are creatures of occasional darkness


still in the lull of frosts. We hunger,

but not for green. The cellar offers

last year’s roots and the ghosts of leeks


where one or two of Hades’ rivers

cut through on their run to irrigate

the cool, infertile bedrock. A month or two


will split the garden, bounty or weeds.

Either will feast us, as the sun feasts us,

as I shy from the dog-end of an eggplant


carelessly roasted a night or two ago.

We feed ourselves with things that creep

from darkness, springing, and try to learn


the savor of mud, analects of the sun,

and transformations of a year’s first fire.