A full hour
I spent outside today,
the thermometer at five degrees.
Despite weariness at the interminable winter,
once I’m out and moving,
my growl and grumble give way to
Gratitude might be too excessive a word,
but my mind quiets and
I breathe into the reverie of walk-jogging
on crunchy but plowed roads.
The day lightens blue and clear.
Today the birds,
hiding, perhaps in the blue spruces,
were singing, despite the bitter, still tundra.
I read that in winter’s cold
birds fluff their feathers
into a downy coat;
they huddle or stack together
and their body temperature
can dip a little without hypothermia setting in.
It’s the lack of food, not the cold
that’s likely to kill them.
to whoever’s feeding these musicians
in the early dawn,
decide to warble
only if they are in the mood.
Evolutionarily, they probably do so to
call for a mate or claim their space.
the human that I am,