I know enough to know it’s not spring
until I see the snowfence coming down.
Today, between the highway and the lake
orange-vested men roll up the cedar-slatted
fence into giant spools. I always thought
it was there to block the wind, but this winter learned
it’s there to slow the current of air enough
so it unloads its snow in a predictable drift, the way
sand gathers just beyond a piece of driftwood
and becomes a dune. Fetch, I read, is the distance
the wind can lift the snow before it resettles.
I’m glad to see the snowfence coming down,
the dunes of snow it culls from the gusting air
gone for another half a year. It’s spring.
Too cold for boats, Belmont Harbor is empty
and blue. Fetch, I think, as I lob sticks
across the mirrored water as far as I can.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 2.
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