Cold Spell

Betty Adcock

BPR 47 | 2020

This April sun is silver, fat white snowflakes
glide slow as drowning flowers in early light.
Windless, the cherry tree’s explosion of blossom holds
the landscape staunched, stunned, stretched
as held breath: a quietening, a muffled
promising. Promising.

The tree is old, huge. On one high branch
a hawk sits veiled in pale bloom, the whole scene
more like moonlight or dream than any
morning solidity, the pink-emblazoned cherry
calling down the snow and the raptor
frozen into grace.

Then the broad wings lift, unfolding annunciation
above a sudden cardinal on white ground, a quick bright
spasm of blood and feathers, and the world
shuddering into life.

—first appeared in Literary Matters