Robins everywhere—flicking up leaves
throughout the garden, flitting from shrub
to tree and down again—such industry!
And the pickings slim: viburnum long
stripped of berries, seed pods
all but gone. Yesterday a large hawk
settled on a bough of the barren maple;
it dropped a tail feather and kept vigil,
indifferent to weather. I, too, watch
for life to stir, for the first perennials
to break dormancy—nodding hellebores;
witch hazel whose pale yellow mimics
forsythia; lavender-blue chionodoxa
ordered from one of the catalogs that clog
my mailbox in winter. The new year
with its attendant hopes closes the book
on the old—a stale vocabulary rolling across
the landscape. What may be said of life and death
waits in the cold for a beneficent spring.
Linda M. Fischer’s poetry is widely published in the small press. Active for many years with the Mad Poets Society and nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, she has published two collections of her work, Raccoon Afternoons and Glory. She lives in Swarthmore; her website is lindamfischer.com.