Everywhere the earth is speaking.
In L.A. it opens and drags down whole buildings.
Here, in Vermont, the woods resound
with the crack of trees under ice. No one is safe:
cars have been sliding off the road on broken bridges,
on slick roads black with cold.
Where do we hold on?
All day a nuthatch has huddled on my deck.
She flies to the birdfeeder, extracts a seed,
descends to a railing and husks it in seconds.
Orange bellied, she grows fatter
under the gray sky threatening even more snow,
oblivious to anything but need.
I envy her concentration, the ability
to shut out all but a kernel of nourishment.
Like those trees whose branches are brought to the ground,
I long to just give in and believe spring will liberate,
some good will come with its warm breath.
Just last year I believed in the robin
the most common of birds
who flew into a high tree
turned his breast to the sun and sang my heart afire.
His song still echoes.
It’s not that I’ve lost faith in the earth.
Weather is what she has to say.
The trouble is, are we listening?