Exploring Woods at Night After a March Snow
Michael Phillips

Exploring Woods at Night After a March Snow

In March, that middle-of-nowhere month,
bare branches shiver
against the boneyard of the night sky.
The rising moon picks
its way through the tangle.
I don’t want to trample
the lovely shadows of trees.

The air is empty
of insects and the sounds of birds.
Tree trunks groan
from the wind in the upper limbs.
My boots probe
for buried rocks and roots
before I commit my weight.

The snow’s skin callouses over
in the deepening cold.
I pause before retracing my footsteps home.
My pulsing heart and the static
of silence mingle in my ears.
In the shelter of a downed maple,
a yellow crocus lifts its head.

Michael Phillips

has published poems and short stories in many literary journals, both in print and online. He works as a medical editor for a nonprofit healthcare institute and lives with his wife, daughter, and puppy in southeastern Pennsylvania.