Paul Deaton


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These sprightly flowers

are no cowards.

They poke forth sun seeking heads,

proudly proclaim

when earth remains clenched

in winter’s pale dead.

See, before you rise to your day,

these shattering yellows hold sway,

say something we cannot,

or have forgotten,

in garden, park and verge,

believe, before there is proof,

of what will come,

sun’s surer rays, a time for warmer


But for now an icy wind ripples

and the daffodils

shudder and shiver,

stunned by the life within them.