It is April’s upending ocean of sky that takes the road,
tosses asphalt and gravel into the bottom pasture,
chokes the apple and viburnum, almost kills them outright.
That Saturday, mud ankle-deep, sludge water receded to shallow pools,
we went down there to pick our way through—
to collect in a pile the stones and all those sharp things:
bits of glass, a ballpoint pen, a car mirror—shards of storm—
before it cemented in and broke the mower blades in June.
But then, suddenly, within days, everything new.
Brown snakes curled in the sun, jonquils my husband planted
last fall in bloom. Down the hill a new house was going up.
A constant whine of band saws, skill saws. And in the yard all those birds,
familiar notes—a pecking so deep, so desiring, from a leafing oak.
Maura MacNeil is the author of the poetry collections A History of Water (Finishing Line Press) and Lost Houses (Aldrich Press). She is also founder and editor of off the margins. She teaches creative writing and lives in the woods of New Hampshire with her husband.