When the colors first come up with the sun,
dark spring green still sits on the fiddleheads.
The marsh grass pretends to be a meadow,
and the white oak in the side yard, half dead,
manages new suckers to throw shadow
on its striplings. Each green variation
is weighted with the blue of deep water.
Of course there must be an August later,
when colors sour with heat and the air is
thick enough to fold. But this morning, this
green deserves not to be much thought over,
not to have future thrown like weed killer
on unexpected growth, but to be instead
left whole in a brief kindness of the sun.
Back, after adventure and some grief,
a month earlier than our habitual summers.
As ever, your naturalist’s eye makes note
of views through what we always were
used to as thick woods. More flower,
promise of heavy berrying. Even I can hear
familiar birds––catbird, gull, towhee.
There’s a rumor coyotes are only
a narrow Sound away. Signs warn us off––
No Trespassing. Posted. Keep Off The Dunes.
We manage to find the once-hidden
nature trail we’d enjoyed with an infant.
It’s now labelled, poshed up with parking.
A rock on the beach reminds too clearly
of where we left a daughter’s ashes.
It dawns, as we pack––we still
fit so well, here and together.
The relief is not all kindness is brief.
Copyright © 1998 by John Hildebidle.