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Donít Get Your Hopes Up
Phyllis Wax


Ignore the reviving grass,
the haze of rust and mist of pale green
appearing at the tips of branches.
And for heaven’s sake
pay no attention to the
forsythia dancing in the breeze.
Whatever you do, don’t delight in the blue
starting to creep through the lawn
or in the white and yellow crocuses
or you won’t be able to cope
when the mercury drops,
when sleet pelts tender shoots
and once again you have to pull out the fleece.

© by Phyllis Wax.
Used here with the author’s permission.


Phyllis Wax writes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.  A lover of warm weather, she watches the snow come and go, waiting and hoping for spring. From the window in front of her desk, she observes an abundance of migrating birds, several generations of turkeys, and the occasional fox, deer, and raccoon. Some of those make their way into her poetry. Phyllis has read her poems on the radio, in coffee shops, in libraries and bars, and her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.



Post New Comment:
Lori Levy:
Like the way this poem gives us hope and warns us at the same time not to be too hopeful.
Posted 03/12/2023 10:25 PM
We've had a few false springs so far, and now we're having our belated winter rains (at last!). The lavender plants, however, are undaunted, and I've already had two rounds of blooms to harvest!
Posted 03/12/2023 10:19 PM
Irene Zimmerman:
I'm smiling at your delightful poem. One of the residents here at Clement Manor looked out her window yesterday at the birth tree and saw a robin perched on a snow-filled branch.
Posted 03/12/2023 06:57 PM
Good one!!!
Posted 03/12/2023 02:52 PM
as I look out at still dark sky this first morning of daylight savings time, shivering
Posted 03/12/2023 01:22 PM
Indian winter!
Posted 03/12/2023 11:35 AM
Angela Hoffman:
So true for Wisconsin right now.
Posted 03/12/2023 08:24 AM
The crocuses are blooming in my garden today and the sky is quite blue where I am. I am not feeling hopeful, just enjoying the bare beauty of the present and this poem.
Posted 03/12/2023 08:00 AM
Joan Luther:
Positively wonderful!
Posted 03/12/2023 07:28 AM
I always enjoy negative command poetry. Don't do this or don't do that. I think it falls under the umbrella of litotes, but don't look it up because I don't think it would be time well spent. And if you do, and I am wrong, don't hold me responsible. Randy Mazie
Posted 03/12/2023 06:37 AM
Larry Schug:
Well said. Exactly the way I feel about the coming of Spring this year. I really like the tone of this poem, its voice.
Posted 03/11/2023 08:09 AM

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