In mid-April, when dawn was still late in coming
And gray half-light lingered long
Hovering over the dewy lawns.
I left breakfast to check the seedlings in the garden
Short rows of single leaves, tender, bent,
indistinguishable from one another now
The cold-weather plants: broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.
I shivered in my shirt sleeves
Savoring this momentary remnant of winter,
This remnant of night
And eyed the layers of yellow straw
That I had spread after tilling.
I was not sure of those forms
At the bottom of my terrace’s gentle slope
There where the fine-scrambled and straw-covered soil
Met the tall grass my mower didn’t reach.
They might have been only clumps of straw
Or clods of dirt that had escaped the tines of the tiller.
When I stepped onto the tilled earth
And it compressed underfoot
I was only a few yards away
And I discerned the eyes of the two baby doves
Too naïve to be afraid.
I was only expecting the normal
The yellow straw and the brown earth
And my tiny plants.
But I saw new life, vulnerable and exposed
Sublime in detail and form
The subtle colors, the flawless faces
Mysterious in origin. Why? How?
And I wanted to stay
Right there in my tracks
And enter this new world
Of beauty and surprise.