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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

American Life in Poetry: ‘In Spring’ by Rose King

By Ted Kooser U.S. poet laureate, 2004-06

I’m writing this column in the earliest days of another spring, and here’s a fine spring poem from Rose King’s book “Time and Peonies,” from Hummingbird Press. The poet lives in California.

In Spring

I’m out with the wheelbarrow mixing mulch.

A mockingbird trills in the pine.

Then, from higher, a buzz, and through patches of blue

as the fog burns off, a small plane pulls a banner,

red letters I can’t read—

but I do see, over the fence,

a man in a sky-blue shirt walking his dog to the beach.

He says he missed it, will keep an eye out.

Four barrows of mulch around the blueberry bushes,

I’m pulling off gloves, and he’s back, beaming.


Are you Martha?”

Poem copyright 2017 by Rosie King from “Time and Peonies” (Hummingbird Press, 2017), and reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. American Life in Poetry is supported by The Poetry Foundation and the English department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. We do not accept unsolicited submissions.