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The green shiver

The forest floor bleak, choked
with old leaves, winter wet. Against
the evidence, buds on the wild dogwoods
glisten, listen for a signal, lining up
for bloom-time—when to burst and who'll
be first? Every year, it's all according
to weather, the wait for the heat-throb,
wind fresh through the naked
birch trunks longing to get green.
The pressure's on, like listening for a
starter pistol, finger on the trigger.

Spring is wound tight enough to let go
any minute. Overarching the ravine,
the cedars start their annual scatter of yellow
sexual dust for the next generation.
The clematis resists her tedium of cold and brown,
cancels h