As winter slows and we look to spring, LENNDEVOURS’ Poet Laureate, Christopher Watkins presents a piece about what this time means for grape vines that have been sleeping during the cold months.

One Last
By Christopher Watkins

One last hurl of winter
for the sleeping vines
to unknowingly withstand;

One last morning
of vivid, blinding beauty—
sunlight caroming off snow slicks—
and the dirty days that follow
as the oily trucks tattoo
the banks built up
along the salted roads;

One last fire for warmth;

One last reminder
that the world’s not at our mercy,
that our mercy’s what we plead for
at the door of Mother Nature’s busy home—
darkened by our shadows as it is
this time of year, when

on behalf of all the squirrels
who are swiftly losing weight,
all the birds who can’t sustain
their hopeful morning songs,
all the vines, like sleeping princesses,
who need the kiss of spring,

we come and ask for
a change in seasons.

The door never opens,
but like children Christmas Eve
who leave out milk and cookies
we leave bottle after bottle
of the best wine we can make
and when we come back in the morning
to submit our pleas again,
the bottles are all gone,
and the day
is just a little bit longer.