To a Red-Winged Black Bird on the Advent of Spring
By Reid McGrath
For some a robin heralds in the Spring.
Others: a crocus or a daffodil.
My old man claims it’s when nightchirpers sing.
The farmer cites the rain, the barnyard rill.
I sense it when the maple-lines come down;
when pruning-ladders rise upon Fern Hill.
I sense it when the buds begin to crown;
but in completion it is not until
I see you perched upon a cattail-reed;
the reed, against your ebony, horse-brown.
The handsomest of birds, you seem to bleed
from daring deeds of triumph and renown.
Alone, among these humble reeds, you’re mellow,
with epaulettes of red and goldish-yellow.
I saw my sister on Thursday for the first time in nearly a year and a half! She and her husband came to see our parents, so Paul and I went to visit with them on the deck (socially distanced since we're not vaccinated). I also had my yearly mammogram, which was supposed to be a few months ago but got postponed first because of virus restrictions and then because of snow, so that's about as much adventuring as I've done since last summer before the surge.
It was another gorgeous day, so we walked in the early evening to see the crocuses, snowdrops, Lenten roses, and daffodils blooming all around the neighborhood, plus the cardinals and wrens singing to each other. After dinner (Hungarian meatballs) we watched Judas and the Black Messiah, which is superby acted and intense -- a powerful contrast with The Trial of the Chicago 7 which has some historical overlap. Red-winged blackbirds at the canal last weekend: