Rain! this morning;
only a smidgeon,
but it smelled so good!
And reminded us
that it can rain here.
(Just this week
the weather service
upped our drought status
another notch,
to moderate.)
This afternoon
has been the warm side of cool,
faintly sunny—
most enjoyable.
Strange to be preparing
for another winter storm,
but nice to have a mild afternoon
to be outside,
fortifying the supply of birdseed,
carrying firewood up to the porch.

Red-Winged Blackbirds
sing as if it’s spring;
little Goldfinches,
seem unaware they’re about to get
a winter blast.
As I look around the landscape,
I realize it looks
peaked. “Peak-ed,” we say
around here
when a person’s face has lost
its color.
Winter has drained color
from the landscape;
today, even the sky seems peak-ed—
almost white in the west.
In the city,
trees are budding.
But the Osage Orange,
the Hackberry trees here
are not.
Winter holds.

I think it wise to stop
and take in its peaked-ness,
to appreciate more fully
the flashes of color—
the shiny red head of the Woodpecker,
the glowing crimson Cardinal,
the Goldfinch’s yellow belly and head;
the greening
that is sure to come.