Cold Spell

/ /

The April sun is silver, fat white snowflakes gliding slow as drowning flowers down that light. Windless, the cherry tree’s explosion of blossom holds the landscape staunched, stunned, stretched as held breath, a quietening, a muffled promising, promising.

The tree is old, huge. On one high branch a hawk sits veiled in pale bloom, the whole scene more like moonlight or a dream than any mid-morning solidity, the pink-emblazoned cherry calling down slow flakes and the raptor frozen into grace.

Then broad wings lift, unfolding annunciation above the sudden cardinal on white ground. Then a spasm of bloody feathers and the world shuddering into life.