Ghosts of Winter

Spent Cattails, Lakeside

Ghostlike cattails line the lake edge,
standing straight and tall as an old guard
of soldiers, offering a salute in honor of spring.
Their velvety brown pods spill their stuffing
onto the ice-capped lake, into the pool
of melted water at the field’s edge.
Their once-sleek leaves are brittle now
and broken, but still they stand, proud
to have endured the onslaughts of winter,
to be standing in the new spring’s sun.
Now and then red winged blackbirds,
just arrived from the south, perch
atop them, sounding a salutation,
and the cattails hold beneath
their weight and are glad.

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