The Cardinal Ballet

The colors of this late winter day

Are muted.

Ashy snow-threatening sky

White birch trees stand tall

Planted in the dirty snow.

Even the pine trees exude

A verdant boredom.

Then a flash of red sparks

Through the air.

Then a second

And a third.

Three wondrously colored

Cardinals alight on the


I watch them flit from

Tree to tree.

Their delicate winged ballet

Enthralling me.

Reminding me that

Spring is not far away.

The Ice-Covered Yard

My dog stands rooted to the

Spot where he stands.

I have called him

But in his mind

He can’t obey.

His usually verdant yard

Is now covered

In splotchy grey ice.

Some primal instinct

Is speaking to him.

Telling him not to go across.

The hard frozen surface.

I watch him and feel

His mind working.

Looking right and left

He finally finds

His way back to me

And jumps up,

Pleased with himself

And this reunion.

Tookie Versus the Snowbank

Many years ago I had a Tibetan terrier named Tookie. His name means “crazy” in Swedish and he lived up to his name many times. He was a small black and white dog but in his mind he thought he was a Great Dane. This was never more evident than in the winter time when there was a lot of snow on the ground. After snowstorms, I would go out and walk around the yard and make paths for him to walk in when the snow was too deep for him. Slogging through the snow in random directions and circles I’d wonder what the neighbors would think if they were watching me. After I’d go in to thaw out, I’d take Tookie outside so he could “do his business.” Usually he would stay in the pathways but one day something possessed him to climb onto the snowbank. I stood there watching his back legs working away trying to get up onto the snow. He finally made it and he stood there for a moment on top of the snow looking like he was the King of the mountain. His head was held up high and his tail was like a banner moving behind him in the wind. Then he took a step and immediately his front leg sank into the snow and he couldn’t move. The snow was too soft for him to push himself back up on top. He was stuck. Slowly he turned his head back towards me with a look in his eyes that just screamed, “Stop laughing and help me!” Yes, I was laughing at him, I was a bad doggy mommy I’ll admit it. But only for a few seconds. Then I picked him up and put him back onto the path. He wanted to get back in the house pretty quickly after that. He was cold and so was I. He never did leave a path in the snow again though. I guess he learned his lesson the first time.

Mother Nature Lost the Memo

Dear Mother Nature,

I mean no disrespect

Didn’t you get the memo

Have you even checked?

Your inbox or your voice mail

Wherever it is you look

I think you should search around

In every cranny and nook.

You see spring is around the corner

It’s just around the bend

It’s time for all the snow and ice

To come to its inevitable end.

So why would you do this to us.

What did we do to you?

For you to slam us with three Nor’Easters

In just a week or two.

Longing for Spring


The magic of the first snowfall has given way to weariness,

The snow still has its beauty and charm coating the trees

In marshmallow whiteness.

But I long to see life return to the yard outside my house.

Today I noticed grass appearing as the snow recedes

like waves on a shore.

I feel a sense of hope that Spring is coming.

I just have to be patient.

And ignore the forecast calling for a foot of snow this week.