Ode to a Groundhog

by Dakota Bailey-Van Kuren

You leave us behind, lost to the long nights and blistery cold
Abandoning us to the harsh winds in favor of your soft earthen cavern.
Surrounded by the dark dust of life gone by
You fade behind shades of dormancy.
I wonder how you sleep.
In peace or restlessness do you dream of tomorrow
And is it beautiful?
Do you revel in the rain that trickles into spring
Or do the colors which we praise so well mean nothing
To the likes of you.

But you are the end of brittle branches and empty gazes
So the world would say it doesn't matter
What you think as long as you rise and bring the sun
The warmth and the beginning
Found in younger days.

I smile to think that in a time of calculations and science
It is you, my friend, who holds the power to bring hope to a nation
Or send it trudging back through six more weeks of hell.
There on your small brown shoulders lies the weight of a million expectations
Yet we find that it is in your eyes that the prophet is found.
For huddled there in your shadow
Spring awaits your command to spring anew