A light snow falls
through the mist.
Across the river,
trees come and go
in fog that drops
and lifts like smoke.
I missed the first day
of spring in the ebb
and flow of human
busyness, crossing
and recrossing
the mountain pass
in forgetfulness.
This morning’s full
of burning things:
winter wood smolders
in the stove, the candle
wick, charcoal that holds
fragrant resin, late the tears
of forgotten trees. It’s cold
in the way of northern
Springs. Deep, clean,
a slow arc breaking
out of the dark.


Light snow. The juncos perform

their slow choreography in the pine,

one at a time at the feeder,

the basket of suet. Never

a duet of feeding. They’re formal

in their morning coats

and black caps. Light

as the air that bears them

bough to bough then off

across the frozen yard

where they merge

with grey February sky.


The empty tree lifts

its bowed branches

offering paired cones

to the weather. Snow

heavier now. Silence rises

up along the river valley.

Nothing to be done

but live and listen.