> jumping into life.


Spring thrums. The vibration wakes me in the night: not rain, not wind, just a sudden jolt of life, a pulse that lifts me out of bed to watch the window, where the lights of passing cars on the highway strobe softly across the trees. In the morning, the foreground has gone green, all the field and marsh and willows, green. The mountains loom bare still, streaked with snow even, still. The birds sing louder than the highway can growl, but not louder than the fly slapping herself against the windowpane.


Spring lunges like a child in rainboots towards a puddle. The dark reflection of the sky shatters; something within us breaks. We turn our gazes upwards, towards the wind, towards that scent and stir of movement. One tree bursts into full and indecent bloom, while those around it merely blush. Tiny flowers peek up at us through the ribcage of a roadkilled deer, picked quite clean once the snow released it.


Turn off the radio,
and let the frogs chorus you home.

Turn off the radio;
I can tell you the news: the news is death,
it is greed, and it is hunger.
Turn off the radio. Open the windows,
and the frog-song will rise
in waves as you pass each marshy place.
Open the windows,
and breathe the woodsmoke,
banked against tonight's hard frost.
Open the windows,
and breathe the cold fresh air.
Turn off the radio.
Listen to the stars.


Spring on the windowsill, if not yet outside.


He says,
Do you really want babies
but got chickens instead?
after I get up to check on them
in the middle of the night,
and after I take a hundred pictures
and even a video of them doing nothing
except being chickens, and I coo and call them darlings,

And so what if he's right?
This is no time for having babies -
the economy and the environment,
the end of the world as we know it, besides
which, we're broke and we fight too much -
it's a perfect time to keep chickens.

And so what if I love them
more than they warrant.

That's what humans do.


I started writing this morning, about the cloudy sky and the warmish weather, and the short memory of my body that now insists on warmth and gets sulky when the cold wind blows. But I want to tell you about my house.

The windowsills in our living-room are painted a soft lavender-blue, almost precisely the color of the mountains which sit distant, behind the white barn with its faded silo, behind the bare-yellow willows and the patchwork buffs of field and marsh. In the bright sun and leaf of summer the striking coincidence of color will be lost, but I love it now. For all my sulky yearnings, now is when Vermont makes my favorite weather, the blustery and overcast days, the rain-loud nights. This cloud-stained light that drapes everything in gloomy romance. I love it.

I love that our windows face either the mountains, or the woods. A state highway runs by not a quarter-mile from us, parallel with our street, but a happy arrangement of trees and barns and silos blocks it from view. On the other side, "woods" might be a bit of a generosity, but the scene nonetheless consists of trees and brush and nothing else. From one kitchen window we look straight at the landlady's house, and she at ours. But a chokecherry and several bird-feeders intervene, and hers is a nice house and it's only the one window.

I love that this whole house is ours. This is the first time I've lived somewhere with no shared walls. Of course, I share them all with J, but that's another matter. We can practice guitar and banjo late into the night if we wish, vacuum at early hours if the inspiration strikes. It's lovely.

Also, we have chickens. I love the chickens. They're learning to come when called, and when they do come, it's usually as a chicken stampede. I love the chicken stampede: fat waddly bodies going asfastastheycan, wings flapping for emphasis, trying to maneuver around each other to all get there first. Earthworms have begun to appear, and watching the chickens discover the earthworms provided a solid half-hour of high entertainment. (Even better than watching them discover the electric fence.) They're so damn domestic, all clucky and scratching about, and us with a fridge full of eggs.

It's a good house. It's a good home. Finally, we've got a home.