Empty branches begin to hold birds again.
The strength returns in limbs
as I stretch against the sky, hanging clothes
on the line in the yard.
A muddy child wraps around my leg,
laughing, a sound that has not echoed
in months. A dirty hand offers me
a beheaded crocus.
I have forsaken the whiskey days of winter,
gut bled for the ever-growing light.
No more fires in the fireplace, no more soot
to blacken everything in our days.
Me, this little one, slapped raw
in hope for sheets
that smell of awakening.