Our Quiet Spring by Barbara E. Murphy

For Judith


Through a thick winter window
I stare at a locust tree—
willing it to bud, to perform
exactly as it did last year
and the twenty before that, transforming
that pale, shaky spring
into broad spectrum summer.


How could I have known
that this season
would want only
simple acts? a knock
at the neighbor’s door
with a pot of soup, a handful
of still damp daffodils.


Next year, we’ll recall
how the sky, empty of airplanes,
revealed to us the birds,
the two-throated
note we’d forgotten.

Barbara E. Murphy’s work has appeared in literary journals including Green Mountains Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Threepenny Review, and New England Review. She is a recipient of a Vermont Arts Council Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize nominee. A collection of her poems, Almost Too Much, was published by Cervena Barva Press in 2015. Her essays have been published in The New York Times, Full Grown People, and Meat for Tea. She lives and works in northern Vermont. This is her first poem to appear in Tupelo Quarterly.