Rain mingled with the ticking of sleet. The early daffodils cluster together, heads nodding, like youths defying a social-distancing order.
Each day the silence grows a little deeper. My self-isolating mother stops on her way past to pick a bouquet of just-opened daffodils.
Leap day. The sun comes out while snowflakes still circle the house. Around the old ruin of a dog statue, daffodils’ green fingertips.
A winter wren warbles his spring song beside the springhouse, appropriately enough, where daffodils have just begun to open.
Neither hot nor cold, and the sun’s neither out nor in. The daffodil spears look just a little taller, and the moss maybe a bit more bright.
A squirrel emerges beside the one white miniature daffodil, just coming into bloom as the others shrivel. A Baltimore oriole’s glossy song.
The rain peters out, and the daffodils stop bobbing to its beat like headbangers. A gnatcatcher resumes its sallies from the lilac bush.
Bright sun, icy breeze. Between creaks of a tree, a turkey’s gobble: like the engine turning over in a clown car. Daffodils bob and sway.
The first daffodils point their ear-trumpets toward the forest: a tom turkey’s florid declarations, a blue-headed vireo’s quiet song.
Under a low cloud ceiling, the keening calls of waxwings. Daffodils have raised their green spears all around the broken statue of a dog.