Out there, beyond the clearing,
Under the bare limbs of the sleeping trees
In the chill gray light of a February afternoon,
Something caught my eye.
A tawny leaf on the forest floor
Uncoaxed by any breeze,
Up and did a jig.
A few seconds later and a few feet away,
Another leaf erupted,
As if to the staccato cue of a plucked string.
And then another.
And then, as I resolved the details of the scene,
I realized that each leaf had a partner, a robin.
So, I thought to myself,
The snow that might come tonight
Will not long have its way.
The red-breasted vanguard of spring has arrived.