The robin has an apple breast,

A singing apple on the bough.

He drops not with a graceless thump,

But feather-easy flutters down.

How came this sweetness to the tree?

What fruit, once fallen, can return?

The robin flies south every year

Then blossoms north as weather warms.

Before the leaves unfurl their green,

Before the flowers scent the air,

The robin boasts his apple breast,

A pompousness that’s only fair.

-Doug Woodsum


Cat’s Gone

Cat’s gone.

Took off last fall after a big V of geese.

Must have thought

as he was at the second floor window

he was just close enough to catch ‘em.

Someone said to me t’other day,

“How’s that old cat of yours?”

I told ‘im,

“My cat … flew south.”

Man’s gone.

Took off round the holidays after a flock of women.

Must have thought

as he was buying the drinks

he was just charming enough to catch ‘em.

Someone said to me t’other day,

“How’s that old man of yours?”

I told ‘im,

“My man … flew south.”

Spirit’s gone.

Took up out of my body,

wandered round my house looking for a place to light.

Must have thought

as I wasn’t going anywhere,

neither was she.

Someone said to me t’other day,

“How you holding up?”

I told ‘im,

“I’m ready … for spring.”

– Ellie O'Leary


Two poems, rife with humor and the emergence of spring in Maine, grace the poetry column for April, National Poetry Month. Doug "Woody" Woodsum, is the author of The Lawns of Lobstermen, poems from the Maine Coast and Belgrade Lakes, published by Moon Pie Press. He says they had their first robin in Smithfield on March 3. Monroe's Ellie O'Leary, who grew up in Freedom, is a prominent writing teacher and workshop leader who hosts Writers Forum on WERU.

Belfast's National Poetry Month event will be Laureates at the Library on Friday, April 12, at 6:30, Belfast Free Library, in the Abbott Room. Admission is free. The five living Poets Laureate of Belfast will read diverse, stirring and quirky works of Poets Laureate from different places and other times. Enjoy National Poetry Month: read a poem, write a poem, share a poem, take a poet to lunch.

The poetry column is curated by Ellen Sander, the Poet Laureate of Belfast, and open to submissions. Send submissions in the body of an email (not an attachment) to Poet Laureate office hours are Tuesdays 1-3 p.m. in the Belfast Free Library third floor conference room.