I still need gloves to walk the dog.
But the birds know what’s coming.
Their first tentative mating murmurs
edge the property: two notes
from a chickadee, then another,
nameless but familiar.
The angle of the sun sends its own
signal of the changing season,
as does—for reasons I can’t explain—
the long white puff of an old contrail
dividing the suddenly brilliant sky.
My tired winter shoes
are no match for the snow’s icy surface.
Thawed yesterday, it froze overnight
to a glistening slick. The dog pulls me
down the slight grade back to the house.
The ice will melt again,
The hard, cold dirt road
will turn again to mud.
Who knows where the time goes?
My friends and I tuned our first guitars,
debating the key, settling on G.
Across the morning sky
all the birds are leaving,
we sang, thinking more about
the placement of our fingers
than the onslaught of time.
Today a double V of geese glides
overhead, so high they seem silent.
I remember the hollow sound
of the guitars, the chord changes,
our long hair falling over the frets
like the ribbons of years
that stretched before us.