Five first crocuses burst into bird-brilliant bloom
and suddenly everything flies: behind a car
scraps of paper rise, two from a flock, startled dumb.
Some lives begin in abstraction; others end there.
If I find the child's fist this universe bloomed from
I will close it again as my own five fingers,
say worlds as one sentence, fit them into a name
for gold overwhelming finches, feather by feather.
With leaves returned, we still hear birds but see them now
only when they fly. It's hard to see anything,
even when we hear it sing, even though we know
it's there, even if we feel it filling our lungs.
Forsythia insists all that is is yellow.
None of this had to happen, but it had to be sung.
* * * * * *
H. L. Hix teaches in the MFA program at the University of Wyoming and lives in Laramie, where every year he marvels at how late in the summer it is before hummingbirds arrive at 7,200 feet and at how hardy pocket gophers are. He is author of seven collections of poems, one of which, Chromatic, was a finalist for the National Book Award. "Spring" was published in New Poets of the American West.