Spring is often a bit of a tease in the mountains. Early, warm days will trick you into putting out flowers and bedding plants only to see an April frost literally nip them in the bud. I have a spot all picked out for my tomatoes (maybe they won’t get blight in this new place!). But I’m biding my time . . .


The yard is full of robins.
Fat and fast they flutter
like snowflakes falling before
the sky can make up its mind.

Just enough to draw my attention—
to make me see.

A frog is awake in the pond
below the house—he sounds
like a chicken clucking, like
children squabbling, like spring.

Just enough to turn my head—
to make me listen.

A neighbor works in his yard,
moving rocks and dirt and sticks.
He stirs the soil like plowing, like
planting the first promise of the year.

Just enough to tickle my nose—
to make me breathe deep.

But the calendar doesn’t lie the way
a day in March does. Those tips of green
will soon send their regrets and bow down
under the weight of stillborn hope.

And the robins will scatter to the wind.