Poets Corner: Forcing the Forsythia


Forcing the Forsythia

Early March

Before the pinkletinks

Begin their cacophonous peeping

I walk the bike path

I notice the forsythia bush

On its supple thin branches

Are tan beads, dormant buds

A spring awakening

I break off three small stems

Green insides, alive

Surviving the winter

Roots are firmly in place

Who will notice this thievery?

Hardly a car passes

No cyclists, no strollers in sight

I carry the stems

Home to my kitchen window

Place them in warm water

They catch the slanting light

Within a week

The tan beads turn yellow

Burst into four petals

Tiny bells line up along the branches

Their silent song

Fills a cold room

By forcing the forsythia

I steal time

My early spring

Ellie Bates

Ellie Bates lives in Edgartown. She has been involved in student and adult writing for more than 35 years. Her nonfiction work, personal essays and poetry have been published in island journals, Martha’s Vineyard Writing and Refocus. She is currently involved with the Howes House Writers, Cleaveland House Poets, and Featherstone Center for the Arts.