January rain, fine spray from a celestial hose, blows across the yard,
beads on the bare branches of the neighbor’s walnut tree.

The first robins of winter descend like drunken paratroopers;
I imagine they’ve been feasting on fermented pyracantha berries

the way they drop, woozy and chortling, to the ground,
gleefully snagging drowning worms from the saturated soil.

Beneath the dripping camellia bush my cats tremble with desire
outnumbered, they know it is futile to attack.

Caught between mind and year, yearnings like so many baited hooks
drifting into deep water, I surface, summoned back

to this moment by the raucous delight of fifty robins,
their tangerine breasts small hearths in the grey morning.

All rights reserved. Posted by kind permission of Amber Coverdale Sumrall.