lilac

In the midst of all this gray, the hulking green lilac—summer’s unfinished business. A crow crosses the sun, leaving a trail of complaints.

A pileated woodpecker lands on the dead elm with a rattle of wings, the elm swaying. Below in the lilac a titmouse hammers away at an acorn.

Two cabbage whites engage in a dogfight, or possibly a pas de deux. A leaf detaches itself from a lilac branch and turns into a hummingbird.

At the woods’ edge, three yellow hats: iris gone feral. A hummingbird rockets back and forth through the lilac, showing off for a female.

Few bird calls are audible above the hush of rain falling on new leaves. White lilac and bridal wreath flower heads droop, turning brown.

Cold rain. Tiny leaves make pointillist patterns against the fog. Only the lilac is fully leafed out—big green alien still on its own clock.

Cold air, warm sun. Two male towhees tweet at each other in the lilac. The old crabapple is coming into bloom, as shockingly pink as ever.