After snow recedes
and the gaggle of snowdrops and crocuses
let loose their flags,
buds of the pink dogwood
relax into a Masaaki sculpture
outside my kitchen window.
I watch the grosbeak preen
and finches race, weaving between blossoms
as we as children did with Grandma’s wash.

Now, with the weekend here
and the coffee gone,
I drag this winter-lazy body
up the path to the barn,
scaring off the old woodchuck
with the crying out of rusty hinges.
I move aside rake, pry bar, birdbath,
three terracotta pots, and the rabbit figurine
I never remember to stow
until I set about filling the feeders with seed.
I rock the cart loose from mud ruts,
then work through webs to the Adirondack chair.
Leaning it into the cart, I brace my feet
and lift up to settle the load.
I knead the tender heels of my palms
against the cart handles, judging the uneven weight,
and let it pull me down the path to the yard.
I drop the chair behind the dogwood
and sit to test the view.

On the road below, Emma snaps
wrinkles from the pillow case
and hangs it between white sheets.
Fern, sunk knee deep into her father’s rubber boots,
pokes around the garden with a hoe.
The Rhode Island Reds
mimic her strokes near the highway.
I gauge the position of the sun
and promise I’ll get started
when leaves come to the dogwood.