‘The First Warm Night’ by Stephen G. Perrin

Here’s a spring poem that was written by my Andover friend Steve Perrin, one of the founding members of the Poets’ Lab that met at Andover’s Memorial Library between 1976 and 1978. Other writers who attended included Ken Skulski, Cynthia Ward, Alice Davis, E.F.Weisslitz, Eric Linder, Wayne Nalbandian, and Tom Mofford (among many others). The Poets’ Lab evolved from a workshop that met upstairs in the Andover public library every other Wednesday evening to a group that offered poetry readings in libraries in Lawrence, Haverhill, Salem N.H., North Andover, Dracut, Lowell, and other places. Along the way the group re-named itself the Merrimack Valley Poets, and disbanded in 1978.—PM


The First Warm Night


The first warm night in April,

Sweating in my winter bed,

I woke in the dark

And knew Spring had come.

Forsythia sprayed from every fissure

Of my defrosting brain.


—Stephen G. Perrin (c) 1976