. The Photograph The snowflakes tumble down like frozen tears, Which fall from every eye this winter day; They heard the call and answered without fear, Their country to defend without delay. A couple stands away from all the rest: Her head is bent, her shoulders hunched in grief, His jacket bears the military crest, His whispered sentences are choked and brief. Upon the cold platform they stand and wait, The snowy silence speaking for their hearts; This painful parting nothing can abate, For Heaven knows the time they'll be apart. They do not feel the cold of winter's chill, The biting wind around them does not sting. The train has pulled in now, its whistle shrill; For one last moment to each other cling. This parting, captured in this photograph And held through time, a relic of the past, Perhaps the couple's only epitaph, A memory of a time that long has passed. . . Spring Growth The sun grows stronger in the sky Its warmth cuts through the morning’s chill: The mist is lifted, soon are dry The dewdrops on the daffodil. Below me in the field I hear The frolicking of calves and lambs, The blissful bleats and bells quite near To where in silent thought I stand. The youth and joy that’s all around Could warm the hardest heart of stone. As thoughts within my own heart sound, I realize how I too have grown. Much like the early flowers of spring I raised my head to frost and sleet; Instead of sunshine, icy sting With naught but rocks to plant my feet. But like the phlox and wobbling calves I feel the warmth of May arrive; My falls now softened by the grass At last, my heart feels quite alive. Through growing pains I’ve come at last To feel the peace and joy of spring; And since the bitter storm clouds passed, With blissful birds my heart now sings. . . April Showers This season brings back memories--- Some painful, others filled with joy; With retrospection, now I see The hand of God at work in this. The joy came first to plant the seeds Before the dark and bitter rains; But when the sun shines through the rain, A rainbow forms, God’s promise kept. The rain gave water to the seeds And helped them grow and blossom now. Without the rain, no flowers grow; The rain helped make God’s plan unfold. So now I let these memories Wash over me and fill my heart With gratitude for joy and pain, And hope for what God’s plan will bring. . . Chantal LaFortune writes for Missio Dei and is an undergraduate student at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, in Connecticut.