A Walk In Early April

Against the sun-wall of air
the birds disguise themselves
as their own shadows,
before settling invisibly among the leaves.
A medley of songs pours from the tree screen.
Was that blink of blue a blue-jay?
That flash of red a cardinal?
Nothing lasts long enough
in April to be certain.

Green claims the landscape, but gray
bark still covers a leafless tree: Is it dead,
or a late bloomer? The tiny leaves
of a willow press its branches
down toward the pond's surface.
Will heavier leaves soon
dip those branches into the water?
Or will they hover like Tantalus's lips
just above the pond all summer long?

A black dog parallels my steps,
barking fiercely and lunging at me,
but she does not cross the lawn's edge.
Her bite is certainly worse than her bark,
but I have no fear. When I fan
my fingers into a wave good-bye, she hops
in a circle, no longer barking or lunging.
Disarmed by my quiet lack of threat,
she slips back into her proper role as pet.

by Daniel Brick

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