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I Am Still Waiting for Spring
—a villanelle
by Jeannie E. Roberts

I am still waiting for spring on the lake.
Lesser scaup lands near merganser and loon.
Open water invites migration breaks.

Frozenness thaws into lunarlike shapes.
Surface reflections resemble the moon.
I am still waiting for spring on the lake.

Ruddy ducks dip and dabble with drakes.
Pelicans float as if primal pontoons.
Open water invites migration breaks.

Horned grebes trill to attract likely mates.
Geese honk alongside a cover of coots.
I am still waiting for spring on the lake.

Buffleheads shine like the icing on cake.
Mallards illumine in plumage platoon.
Open water invites migration breaks.

April arrives to dissolve winter’s weight.
Birds nod in respite on warm afternoons.
I am still waiting for spring on the lake.
Open water invites migration breaks.

PHOTO: Duck in a mystic morning light by Iron Trybex, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am still waiting for spring! Aren’t we all after this long, unusual winter? Living near a lake, I feel lucky to be able to experience the spring migration. We’ve already seen a few lake gulls. In 2018, our first year on Lake Wissota, I created a list of waterfowl arrival times. Though it varies, typically, the loon, mallard, osprey, bufflehead, pelican, blue-winged teal, lesser scaup, and American coot arrive in the third and fourth weeks of April. May brings the horned grebe, greater scaup, ruddy duck, hooded merganser, Northern shoveler, and others. They rest on the open water for a few days and then continue on their way; however, the osprey stay and return to their nearby nest, and geese are a year-round fixture. Also, depending on the snow level, the air temperature, and, of course, the amount of sunshine we receive, the lake ice melts between the end of March and the end of April. Lastly, I’ve been on a villanelle roll, so this poem follows that form. For more, here’s a link to the rules and history of the villanelle: Villanelle | Academy of American Poets.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeannie E. Roberts lives in an inspiring setting near Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where she writes, draws and paints, and often photographs her natural surroundings. She’s authored four poetry collections and two children’s books. As If Labyrinth – Pandemic Inspired Poems is forthcoming in May 2021 from Kelsay Books. She’s listed in Poets & Writers and is poetry reader and editor of the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. To learn more, visit jrcreative.biz and Jeannie E. Roberts | Poets & Writers (pw.org).