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Signs of Spring
by Marion Menna

I wake to the call of crows converging
        on icy pastures; at noon they will sit
in the tops of the trees facing the sun

The dusky bats are asleep in their nests,
        field mice, chipmunks, rabbits, voles,
their tunnels exposed on snow-sodden lawns

I miss the cows, the calves, the curious bull
        who took a step back in mock terror
at my small terrier's bluff and barking

They stay close to the barn these days
        away from the swales of mud and ice
or have they been sent to market?

A pod of wild turkeys comes out of the woods
        to cull bits of corn and frozen beetles
to take in the sun and wash their scabrous feet

Soon bluebirds will build nests in twin boxes
        at the edges of fields, mobbed by sparrows,
guarded by swallows who are willing to share

Tonight I will read about bats, pollinators,
        ancient symbols of happiness,
who are dying in the caves west of Albany

with white rings round their noses
        caused by some unknown virus
I turn eastward and whisper into the wind

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