by Karen Friedland
There’s a panic
to the coming flowers,
like slow, eagerly-anticipated fireworks—
Crocus! Oooh! Daffodil! Aaaah! Tulip!
and the roiling gray skies looming above us,
portending change by the minute,
just as we’d gotten accustomed to winter.
There’s far too much tenderness
in early spring—
the fallen sparrow’s egg,
its unhatched chick still inside;
the green leaves unfurling,
already chewed to lace by a nonindigenous caterpillar
that’s working its way up the coast;
emerging pale green day lilies
crushed by oafish, heavy work boots.
“Life ain’t fair, kid,”
my Dad would explain,
when I saw a man with no legs,
“life ain’t fair.”