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A Day for Patience
Jan Chronister


Landscape bricks
sit in the trunk of my car,
ready to be unloaded,
stacked at the edge of a garden.

Snow falls by the inch,
daffodils wear tight scarves,
huddle against the storm.

Fragile necks of tulips
heavy with buds
quake under the white guillotine
that falls from the roof.

Ice is long gone
from Lake Superior
but I am still waiting
for the day I can put
the snow shovel away.

From Heartsick (Whisper Tree Press, 2021).
This poem first appeared as part of the Silver Birch Press “I Am Waiting” series (2021).
Used here with permission.

Jan Chronister, a retired teacher of English and Creative Writing, lives in the woods near Maple, Wisconsin. The author of three chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections, she is serving as president of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets from 2015-2021. Jan’s book, Distanced: Poems from the Pandemic, was named a 2020 Outstanding Poetry Book by the Wisconsin Library Association.Her latest book is Son of Norway, a collection of poems about her father. Learn more about Jan at



Post New Comment:
Love this!!!
Posted 03/20/2022 09:04 AM
Janet Leahy:
The white guillotine falling from the roof gives me the chills, but this is Wisconsin, must keep that shovel where we can find it. Enjoyed your poem Jan.
Posted 03/19/2022 07:37 PM
Lori Levy:
Especially like the last stanza.
Posted 03/19/2022 04:56 PM
Great poem, Jan! That third stanza is a masterpiece in itself.
Posted 03/19/2022 11:28 AM
In downstate Illinois we've had a couple of days into the low 70s. Pretty rare for the month of March. Your poem brings on wistful feelings for spring to go full bloom.
Posted 03/19/2022 09:26 AM
Larry Schug:
Best to keep the snow shovel handy, but the garden tools are calling from the shed. We northerners have got to be the most patient of all. Well said, Jan.
Posted 03/19/2022 07:42 AM

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