This morning at the farms along the road

Twelve wild turkeys on their barnyard tour lumber from the woods
a haphazard file of sumptuous brown bodies pulled by naked heads and red chins
across the farmhouse lawn to the spot where chicken feed lies scattered every morning
they begin determined digging

Five black-and-white spotted cows and a brown sprawl on the thick hay pile that rises
from the snow and two more sleep standing with early spring sun heating their backs
one lying at the edge wakes and chews turning her large white-patched eye
to watch the foot traffic

Four horses stand under thick red blankets munching hay
heads bent to the ground and tails rarely twitching as it is still too cool
for bugs but even in the safety of the yard their lead mare lifts her brown head
and flares her nose watching long minutes for threats from across the field

Two black furry puppies with floppy ears and strong short legs
bark and run fast and free of any fear almost tripping
down the hill to waggle their muscular bodies in a yipping welcome
of a friend climbing the path

One cinnamon Labrador falls to the battered wooden floor of the old milk house
rhythmically thumping her tail on the boards and baring her belly for a long rub
she lifts her head for a close and steady gaze
licking the wrist of the hand that pats her

Two young huskies lie behind their fence breathing the cold air after their second
morning walk and five horses in the next field look up at the sound of footsteps on the road
at a passing shadow a chipmunk darts into the stone fence while the red squirrel
chats a warning from high in the bare maple

In the house a ladybug clinging at the water line sips from the cats’ bowl
bread cooling on the counter fills the air with its light baked yeasty smell
the eggs are washed and gleaming in their soft shades of brown and green
the world proceeds with its small rituals


Mad for a moment

Fling open the door:
the wind blows cold

but we hear chickadees
and as the snow peels back

smell mud
a hint of greening
and Spring’s buds
inching toward light.

Impatient to be out
of its woolens and flaking cells
our skin clamours to be bared
against soft sun,

our hair daydreams
of a ruffling breeze.

Mad for a moment we drag
shorts and shirts from bottom drawers

dash to the porch
to stand for seconds of glory
then tear away, back inside
warmed by a certain future.


The cardinal announces

His bright voice swoops
through bare branches, spreads
across the grass,

Woosh, and he sits on the wood fence

head bold as a warning
throat an unquenchable fire
wings like an ambush

Zooming across the garden

to his brown-and-rose mate at the top
of the stark old maple
he proclaims the day’s beginning.