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Grassland is greening.
Barn swallows have returned,
skimming low over the pasture grass
for bugs,
flying in and out the barn
through a small space
near the ceiling
opened just for them.
I have missed their air shows—
flying fast,
making sudden turns
without losing each other.
On warmer days
a Cardinal bathes
in the bird bath.
Characteristically, only some
April days are warm.
Low temperatures and gusty winds
remind us
that it’s only April
and summer will arrive soon enough.
Characteristically, a mid-month freeze
determined that there will be no
fruits this year, except,
maybe, apples.
Lower limbs on the big old Hackberry tree
had to start over
after the freeze. Its recently-unfurled tenderness
succumbed, dried, dropped
and now sprouts
again.

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Early flower blooms
hang tough in the north wind.
The wind chime on the front porch
is rarely quiet,
but the old barn roof is silent today,
at last,
with the help of a neighbor
who yesterday stood in those gusts
to tack down banging tin.
Baby chicks are hatching
in the incubator—
10 now—
rescued from the hen community’s
30-plus-egg nest
when the devoted mamma who had been sitting
for three weeks
got locked out of the coop. There were
so many eggs
and the fertile ones have been hatched
so intermittently
that the lock-out turns out
to have been a fortunate thing
because she wouldn’t have sat
as long as this process has taken.
There are daily surprises
as life insists,
emerges.DSCN3696
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