Under weighted clouds now the rippling blue lake,
pale as fairy's eyes in the land of songbirds,
calls the shy spring from beneath the bleached blond
grass to arise fresh.
Birches shine white, echoed by juiceless driftwood.
Left behind by winter, a lonesome snow ridge
hides behind sand dunes and the fiery dogwood,
cool in the damp wind.
Saskatoon twigs rise into gleaming gemstone
buds and starkly black, among muted wood tones,
trunks of burnt trees linger erect like charcoal
marks on the landscape.
Further off, bird banders are watching flocks swoop,
knowing all their patterns of flight and shrill calls.
Morning brings them captives in spider web nets,
tangled and wide eyed.
Hands as gently firm as those of midwives
hold the small captives as they stretch and measure.
Softer yet, breath rustles the feathers, flows through,
revealing pink flesh.
Soon the task is done and the bird is set free.
Up it flies now, grazing the top-most tree limbs,
scenting nesting grounds in its waking homeland
north of the pale lake.