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Last night, our pond reclaimed a foot from its ice. New water winks blue-green, and blackbirds shriek From wire and weed. It’s good to be out. Two boys Hike by me at social distance. Each breeze-tossed leaf Looks as crisp and twitchy as a chipmunk’s ear. The mud road grasps at boot-soles as I walk The other way. On a tree I detect the scar Of an errant winter driver. I catch the talk Of school kids out of school– their classmates, popular. Or not (all girls are otherwise), the names Of games that they can’t play. The runt defers To his companion, who, unprompted, screams Abuse at all restrictions. As they pass from hearing, I note an earthworm turning proper pink. Though soon the ambient landscape will be wearing Further raiment–nodding grass and dank, Deep moss, spare overlay of meadow flowers– I’ve lived enough to expect odd snow-squalls, slapped To anger by nasty winds. I predict more hours In which we’re sealed in rooms foursquare and flat, Where we’ll dream of the past, or pray for the future When a softer time will come– and go– and mist Will rise from pond and outlet brook to wend Its way to a busy playground. Sun once kissed My own young body, sweet bijoux of sweat Rose into uninfected morning’s odor. Who knew that what my parents labeled older Meant this strange state? Not then but then not yet.
Sydney Lea’s many books include Here (Four Way, 2019).
Copyright 2020 Sydney Lea