by Beth Gordon
Hungry for asparagus and honeysuckle, damaged forsythia,
the thick persistent dandelions which have also just arrived, we sit
on the unswept deck and drink the last of syrupy Christmas wine,
ready for clear liquor and citrus, lemon or lime or tangerines,
for violets to emerge from the muddy ground, purple and naïve
to our impatience, our forced hibernation, our weeks of unpredictable
temperatures and hurricanes where there is no ocean.
Mockingbirds repeat our hungry cadence and wait for baby
foxes to respond, the white cat bathes in half-damp dirt, letting newborn
field mice escape his precise claws, today is not a day for murder
or lightning, he looks the other way because he knows where
to find them in morning darkness, he will always find them no matter
the season, the barometric pressure or category six tornadoes
or possible ice in the first full days of May.
A train groans its winter song unaware that crows and lesser birds
are disoriented, dizzy with pollen, unable to mimic the sound
of February frost, of legal gunfire, deadly force, of inconsolable
mothers, on this late April evening when the sun promises to bloom
until midnight, swaddle us like abandoned babies on Viking ships,
our sun-starved skin ready to shed, to metamorphose
into living creatures who need no touch or care.