In the early morning of Spring the robins stand in the grass and hold their ground even as I approach. They eye me silently, heart beating ninety miles an hour, wary of their new nest. Something I cannot see, but must now be near. Somewhere in that primal brain an impulse to protect with their very life that which in three weeks they will no longer even recognize.
The trees are still bare and through the jagged and brittle limbs I see small houses that the summer leaves will hide and I wonder how it is one can get to them and why I never noticed them before. One old house, still standing but changed, is where my first friend came down the stairs to meet me on the way to school. Where now, these sixty years later? Where now?
Even though it is still cold I see more movement than usual this morning. There are work trucks and vans and men carrying spools of wire and shovels to and from. There are husbands and wives clearing the cold ground for a summer flower bed. In the woods down the ravine a crow floats from a branch and drops down the hillside and disappears around the bend . . .