the world tells you again

in this fountaining the flutter
wing-dust and scattered
seed, greening

why should you not return
to heartening beneath
your one-note lament

and need for salt don’t say
it’s always the same
for when have you ever noticed

roses blown open to rain
robins food-screeching
in your window-tree?

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this a.m.

cleaning frenzy downstairs the ruckus
of laundry and drowning perfume

birds dart tree to tree unable to settle
on this branch or that much less thought

but the pair of ducks on the neighbor’s roof-
peak: they stand, step closer together,

pause, step again, coyly dip their heads—
my half-cup of coffee still warm

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April Gifts

i.

the cardinal sudden like words
from a friend, bright unexpected
against leafless sky, same sweet
song and soul-balm

ii.

not faith but a kind of pride, your belief
every day should offer something
like this dirt finally warming,
hand-crumbled, enough?

iii.

if the pansies survive
this record cold, it is no god’s bow
to the balance due, nor even
to your impatience

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to the guy who still holds the 8th-grade school record for long jump

you’re my age now, I’m thinking
as I wait for the game to start
how we engrave these accomplishments
as if they might matter
thirty-five years hence
do you even know
your name is still on this board
and what does it mean
we hold these selves within us
from a time when such things made us strive
to be important to someone—
to ourselves?