Hazel

A coat of downy fur surrounds her
rosy cheek;
tightly wrapped against biting jaws.
Day by day the sun rouses
winter land from its slumber.

Awake! Saffron dust blows in February’s storms.
Contorted limbs turn their bare bark
skin to face the warming March air.

A woodpecker knocks on the silvery door
of her trunk.
Pearl necklaces tumble
in glittering raiment down
from bough to bough.

The bud fills with the promise of spring:
a headrush of sap bursting
electric green leaves from their winter prison.

Hazel nods each leaf in approval
of warm rain washing
her new April outfit.

April 2017