April 2010

Through green-gold leaves backlit by the sun, a scarlet flame and the slow, newspaper flap of black and white: pileated. The Good God Bird.

When I come out, I find my chair turned to the wall, two jets taking their trails along with them into the west, the sun’s flaming sword.

Windy at sunrise, and the thermometer’s arrow just past 32. I scan the low spots for frost, thinking about the oaks’ Rapunzel blooms.

A groundhog emerges from the stream and climbs the roadbank. I glance away for a moment and a turkey takes his place, shining like obsidian.

Drum of rain on the roof and the birds sound distant—robin, field sparrow, cowbird—the world greener than it’s been in seven months.

Sometime past 7:30, the birds fall silent for half a minute and there’s only fog, a slow drip from leaves no larger than squirrels’ ears.

Chipping sparrows are mating on top of the wall around my garden: she raises her tail and he rushes forward for the one-second cloacal kiss.