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Last Day of Winter - May Day, 1992

William Goresko 1951 (Philadelphia, PA) – 2008 (Willow Grove, PA)


On this final day of winter, the trees,
Dry and brittle like old folk
Stand motionless, frozen to attention.
In their suits of snow,
Icicles dully glowing,
They wait breathlessly
For a chance to shake free
Of their bonds and stir to life.
But on this day when the wind slumbers,
The only movements are those of the snow
Which falls with cunning intent,
And the big black crows
Hopping from branch to branch.
Mute and still as tombstones
That cannot even smell the memories
Of the bones on which they stand,
The trees will endure winter's death rattle
Before awakening to the warm breath of spring.


Pale green, like Japanese tea,
And pink-white cherry blossoms,
Mingle to form a sea spray of color,
Light as foam, across the land.
The trees exult in their splendor,
Trembling in the soft breeze
In love once more with sun and sky,
Moved by warmth, alive with sap.
With this shy and buoyant freshness,
This optimism born of
Cycles of vernal redemption,
They loose their petals down on us
In gentle flurries.
The air becomes cool and moist
With their perfumed exhalations,
Tendrils reaching into old, dry hearts,
Into discontented hearts of middle age
Stirring the husks of our youth,
The unsprung seeds of unlived lives,
Sending us reeling, intoxicated
By the sweet smell of salvation.
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Submitted by cuwoodford on April 29, 2021

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:07 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,282
Words 225
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 18, 21

William Goresko

William Goresko was an avid landscape photographer, a lover of backpacking and the outdoors, a voracious reader of classical literature and ardent fan of classical music as well as 60s rock and folk music. He also loved cooking and watching Sixers basketball games. He was a floor sander by trade. In 1984 at age 32 he was rendered quadriplegic in a car accident and lived for 24 more years. He retained his love of life and had a strong will to live. All poems were written a few years after the accident, typed one letter at a time, using a sip and puff device. Poems were submitted by his wife Cheryl. more…

All William Goresko poems | William Goresko Books

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