In this first warm spring morning,
I put on my boots and splat my way
across wet grass toward the bridge.
From under the bridge two mallards appear,
with Papa resplendent in rich greens and tans
and Mama as plain as a frau.
In sun-tipped reeds at the curve of the creek,
a redwing blackbird practices the rich notes
of his first spring concert.
The muck near the water bears animal tracks,
and a handful of robins sit plump on a sumac
like overstuffed ornaments.
A chorus line of finches dances and sings
along the rail of the old barn gate;
a chipmunk hurls himself across the lawn;
and a big old crow in Motown tux-and-tails struts
as he belts out his own raucous blues.
My morning eyes observe a feathered family
nesting in the hemlock near the garden,
and an army of ants begins its march
toward the toe of my boot.
Ah, the small spring wonders!
From my journals, March 1990.
R.A.T. (Rose About Town), saluting spring