Willow blossoms deep in the lane, a rooster calls out at noon.
Young mulberry leaves are still sharp and less than green.
—Fan Ch’eng-ta

In the waning dark old apple trees set the ridgeside ablaze
with blossoms and bees, night’s tenderness captured
in the vanishing ghost of a moon that peers down from Brush Mountain.
The other side of its face, which our youngest boy tells us is the sun,
shimmers in the forsythia we planted along the river before your father died.
With the trees as yet unleafed, spring light strikes with both love
and ferocity: no cover to be found as you place your skirt on the ground
between us. Despite the sky’s sharp glance, nothing can keep us
from this buzzing. The world grows around itself with the wind’s
threshed flowers, with bones and fieldstones pushed up from black soil.
This afternoon we’ve left the damp earth to dry in furrows, so tired
both of us sleep beneath the falling petals of a serviceberry tree.
In my arms you dream fitfully of fiddleheads unfurling, and I
of the boiling pot we’ll cook them in.


Todd Davis
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