Out with the Old

Barely noticed below the riot of spring wildflowers, last year’s leaves are breaking down into a common duff. Towhees aren’t as noisy now as they rummage for roughage.

deer skull and spine
on the old skid road
stretching my legs

Even the once-waxy oak leaves have worn thin, though the tailoring is still sharp—a close fit to the planet, which I see caricatured in a freshly fallen oak apple gall, green and glistening, the remains of its hacked leaf sticking out like a hitchhiker’s thumb.

standing water—
a birch tree perches
atop each stump

It’s humid. As the air warms, a cloud of gnats gathers around my hat.

of a flycatcher’s beak—
winter’s gone

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