I wonder why the birds leave early
By late August, great, black flocks of them are gone
Why then? We’ll have another six weeks of warm weather
They would have everything here then that they have had in June.
And now in late February, the Robins return
To snow-covered acres and frozen streams
They are without food now and cock their heads as if confused
Time and again I hear reports of farmers finding scores of them frozen in some field
Why are their internal calendars so far off, so far ahead of the season
Weren’t these behaviors inculcated by natural selection over millennia?
Did autumn come earlier ten thousand years ago? And Spring the same?
And then in early March I wander through the soggy woods
Where bits of snow still rest in shaded corners
And on one south hillside I see the May Apple lush and green
Spilling down the hillside like a stream, born in a day
And I know that the early hope is the perfect hope