Upon a light barked limb of birch
a sparrow and a robin perch.
The robin shifts, the sparrow cries,
tilts his head, takes stock, then flies.
From an oak not far away
comes a bluebird and a jay.
The bluebird there to poach a nest,
the jay, simply to taunt and test.
The robin ready to give song,
protests briefly, moves along.
While hidden in the leaves above,
caws a raven, coos a dove.
This is a good place.
The ground is cold and puddled,
ice still skins the shady spots,
the sun low, but rising.
or a week from now,
I’ll return to this very spot
and find it foreign
if I notice it at all.
This is a season unspent:
there will be snow yet and storms.
Today’s cold recalled
a mere discomfort
and the bite of this wind, but a kiss.
If I prophesy spring
will you pretend to believe me?
We can blanket each other
in warmth for a time.
With the moment eclipsed
by the cold truths of winter,
will you smile me strong
as I frown toward the north?