From the other house, the squeak of a cloth on window glass. Juncos forage under the crabapple. The thermometer inches up toward unfreezing.
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.
Fog rising from from the valley breaks over the treetops like silent surf. The weak sun finds hints of scarlet under the crabapple leaves.
The old crabapple next to the springhouse is in full bloom, a mass of shocking pink abuzz with insects. The sharp snap of a phoebe’s beak.
Leaves blow backward, signalling storms to come. Fallen crabapple petals litter the ground between the cattails like bloody thumbprints.
The old crabapple tree next to the springhouse has pulled it off again, blossoming wildly. The catbird scat-sings from its purple depths.
The red porch floor is pocked with yellowish green pollen. In the garden, a red crabapple petal is plastered to a witch hazel leaf.
A catbird mews from within the crabapple’s scandalous maroon. It starts to rain. A chickadee carries a worm into its hole in the stump.
Half molted now, a patchwork of yellow and green, the goldfinch goes twittering past the crabapple’s half-open blooms.
The mayapples next to the creek have opened their umbrellas. We do need rain. Already, the top branches of the crabapple have caught fire.