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Mad Day In March

 Beaten like an old hound 
Whimpering by the stove, 
I complicate the pain 
That smarts with promised love.
The oilstove falls, the rain, Forecast, licks at my wound; Ice forms, clips the green shoot, And strikes the wren house mute.
May commoner and king, The barren bride and nun Begrudge the season's dues.
May children curse the sun, Sweet briar and grass refuse To compromise the spring, And both sower and seed Choke on the summer's weed.
Those promises we heard We heard in ignorance; The numbered days we named, And, in our innocence, Assumed the beast was tamed.
On a bare limb, a bird, Alone, arrived, with wings Frozen, holds on and sings.

by Philip Levine
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