The snowbanks are shrinking, their curves
reduced to anorexic hip-bones and elbows,
and they shouldn’t be,
not yet. The dripping sound
coming from the roof doesn’t sing
a joyful ballad for the crocuses,
but a lament for small field creatures
left homeless as their shelters
I take advantage of the thaw
by shovelling away mounds
of wet dog dung, then by chopping wood,
bare-handed. The chopping block
is too near the bird feeder
and a chickadee scolds me raucously,
a tiny, indignant, bold-feathered sprite.
I obediently stack my wood: resinous, damp
and retreat to the house.
It is calm inside, almost vacant.
Though this is only a false spring, already
you’ve grown quiet, shifty; already
I see you shouldering towards the door.
The curtains billow their sad song
of air and dust, while the sun casts
its strange, pale winter light into the kitchen,
deep-kissing the window-prisms
as it brushes by.
January 18, 2009