Spring Poems

by H. G. Moser

Visual silence, sitting on my back patio
searching the willows along the creek,
wondering when the warblers will return

Yellow-rumped warblers
(we used to call them Audubon’s) and the
yellow warblers that nest here every year,
along with the catbirds and song sparrows

Yellow-rump warblers are reticent,
mating among the branches like wisps of
smoke, but yellow warblers are bold flyers,
streaking over the lawn as if on bombing runs
as they build their nests and tend their young.

Time goes slowly until they return

After Considering My Retirement Account
by Todd Davis

The last week of May the chokecherry trees flower.
I tell my wife these are the finest hours to fish for brook trout.
Foam flower and Canada mayflower cast their fragile blossoms
out of last year’s losses, proving once again that death is the key
to fecundity. In the midst of all this fragrance the woods
become a leaf-house that’s paid for. Yesterday my friend’s brother
was convicted of embezzling their parents’ estate. We should never steal
from those who come before us or borrow from those who come after.
Because there’s a cost for what sparkles beneath the surface,
we eat the fish we catch right down to the bones.
I know we’ll never be rich. This time of year Clintonia’s
emerald leaves line the river’s banks, and I work hard to calculate
the number of days before the round globe of their blooms
reach maturity.

From Winterkill (Michigan State University Press, 2016)