Afternoon sunlight on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, following a long foggy prelude. In it, the rising snowflakes are small moths. Earlier, juncos were splashing in the mossy-leafy rainwater collected in the birdbath. Most birds, I have found, do not like a clean tub. A scrub-jay just arrived, bright-blue against its bare perch in the fig tree. The shepherd’s purse is starting to bloom. The front sidewalk and retaining wall are deep in moss. The strawberries at the west end of the house are showing signs of life. The blueberry bush at the east end is budding out. I fluffed the surface of the garden space with a hula hoe. The soil is in wonderful condition, and could be planted even now, if it were not so early in the year, with frosts, and possibly even snow, to come. I heard nuthatches while I worked. I think they were in the big cedar tree across the street. In online listings, the few that there are, 1664 first edition copies of John Evelyn’s Sylva, or A Discourse of Forest-Trees and the Propagation of Timber, run several thousand dollars. I have, and have read, his Diary. He has not demanded its return. Pennies from heaven. Through how many hands? The copper trace of him.
February 12, 2020
Men look at my face,
kids at my high, sturdy knees,
perfect for horse rides.
Songs and Letters, August 5, 2008