By Rachel Barenblat
I forgot to hang the feeder.
The cat never settled on the couch
to watch the chickadees and juncos
at their perennial cocktail party.
Next year you'll be old enough
to notice as they congregate.
For now, settle into your stroller
and listen: as the equinox approaches
the woodpeckers are waking.
You can't see the trees' distant fingers,
too far and fine for your new eyes,
but a trillion twigs are turning nubbly
like grapestems denuded of fruit
and inside lurk embryonic leaves.
On your eighth day, flakes fell
thick and fast, coating hills
which haven't yet been bared, but
soon the snow will seep into soil
revealing the pale and sun-starved lawn.
Your short life has held only winter.
As you can smell milk when I hold you
I can smell the earth warming, the mud
laced with shreds of last year's mulch,
the spring I know is almost here.