breath of thaw.
Pungent pine bark,
needle rot composting,
soil awakening below the top inch.
No rain falls. Snowpack
long since melted
feeds grass and flower,
flows up tree trunks
into gauzy green haze.
Steller’s Jay’s ecstatic shrill,
and flicker’s knock on tree and barn
all call to mate.
Clouds gather and glower.
On the Cascade peaks
shadow-snow or rain
falls like a mirage.
Garden draws deep,
footfall welcome in yielding touch,
sighs a sweetness short lived
until summer sucks it into sun.
What are these people doing?
What slow dance, moving one
to another, pairs of arms clasped
around backs, necks entwined
like swans. And rocking as if the ground
beneath them beats with a rhythm,
fluid. Both exotic and nostalgic.
Not the clutch of passion, the simple
meeting of belly to belly. Like food
but sweeter, meatier.
I salivate tears. My whole body
hungering for touch.
While we’re separated here by illness,
the bold forsythia risks the nightly
cold to burst forth in golden flame.
Likewise, the chokecherry, with its
furry buds, lifts its arms the way
I’ve heard that trees breathe
at night when we’re not watching.
And the red maple has nascent keys
dangling like platelets, small spurts
from its heart.
Life hurts. We go on,
even when we feel we can’t go on.
Go on.Go on. Walk the floor
to the nearest window. Something
out there is singing.
What is blooming
in you today that you’re mistaking as pain?