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A Post-Industrial Spring

by Jan Worth-Nelson

Winter ends in the graveyard shift

austere branches poised

for the insurrection,


their silence cocked.  They

already hear the first strike:

underground, October’s absurd hyacinth


retools for April changeover,

clanging, black dirt clogging

the brassy pistons.


The secret scilla on my neighbor’s

unkempt slope has lit its own fuse,

ready to blue up, and any day now,


the most cynical eyes, famished for color,

will start believing in sight

for the first time in a long time.


Laconic dark sprouts, twining

and lascivious. The cats are on the make.

Tonight you could hear it


from any porch – spring

cutting a green slash

through the dumb and sooty snow.

Jan Worth-Nelson lives in Flint, MI, where she and everybody else are still drinking bottled water despite confusing and aggravating reassurances from some politicians. She taught writing at the University of Michigan-Flint, and now edits East Village Magazine, a Flint-based monthly publication. Her novel Night Blind is based on her Peace Corps experience, and other recent work has appeared in Exposition Review, Michigan Gothic, the MacGuffin and in Happy Anyway: a Flint Anthology just out from Belt Publishing. She says Flint is a good creative cauldron, where as her poem suggests, at least the earth under all the tumult is "poised for the insurrection," and perhaps change is in the air.

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