Spring comes earlier on the western side of the mountain
The mornings here still hold the pinch and sting of winter
But by the time the sun passes over the ridge
The fog is burned away and the rays bright and strong.
The eastern side will have frost under the leaves on the ground
And around the puddles made by the seeps
But the western slope is dry
And the buds have popped out, red and white
And the forest weeds have sprouted.
Catch this time before the pathways are blocked
By weeds, vines and briers
These few days of sunny warmth
Before the spiders and snakes make hiking a danger.
Live for this moment on the western slope
In this free and safe world that will vanish with the coming of the solstice
And mark the beauty