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Winter Garden Baby 

Days are growing longer they say
when January’s pines stretch to loosen
sheathes of glass that fall to where snowdrops rest.

I hear the crackling…while crocus murmurs
under the bulge of mulch and stones
soothed by snow drifts like cream on calluses

flowing warm, deep in utero, rose
roots cling, squeezing life from soil
for shoots and stamens.
The sun strains to lend a sparkle
as I walk through the garden gate pondering
when the ice should spring to water

sleeping snow crop swathed in shadows.
As Mother Earth gathers and nourishes,
preparing for the birth pangs of spring.

—Mary Cantell, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, is a voice actress and journalist by trade. The things she finds most endearing are rose gardens, hugging a baby whale, and her husband's eyes.