Tho' there is no new path, just the usual
neighborhood circle, familiar as the salt
caking the pavement squares.
Piles of shrinking snow humped up along the curbs,
each night the puddles freeze, each morning thaw,
and grass, clumped and frizzled, and mud. Mud.
Gritty, dull, the land, the houses. Everything
needs washing, and a second rinse cycle.
But the sky is full of occasion—robins.
in the still-bare trees, twittering, chirruping
cheerily around the entire suburban block.
It couldn't be called song,
that curiously bubbling chatter-sound they make,
waxy and bibulous as a pubhouse or bridal shower.
cheerio, cheeri-up, killup killaree, killup killaree, cheeri-up, cheerio
Come spring, that much-dreamed distant season, these trees
will bust out green, our salt-stained eyes
rejoice—but not then, not again as
everywhere now the chirping of robins, and water running,
and then and now we are arrived at home.
Art credit: "Winter robins flock together at a bird bath," photograph by Becky Stanton.