[Portage, MI. March 22, 2002]
Two days past the equinox,
Snow-salt billowing in diaphanous sheets
I find five robins dancing an awkward gopak
On the dirt beds
In front of Bob Evans at 7 a.m.
Their legs stiffened to brittle chalk
Chests puffed to suck air close
To their hearts,
They looked confused, desperate
Last-leggers in survival mode,
A miscalculation in timing
Nature spurning anything less than
Genetic perfection, getting it right,
Giving no second chances.
I think if they live, perhaps
Their progeny will be smarter
Gauging winter’s end.
Like nature I give it no further
Thought, go inside
For oatmeal and coffee,
My self-interest driving me
No less than dancing birds.