Leveler Poetry Journal
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Apple Blossom Song


A cardinal struts in the snowbound yard, making a home

in the bare branches.  For fifty years he saw them first

and called her to the window, but this year he is scattered

in the field, and she watches the trees alone.


She stocks feeders, fills the heated bath, and prays

for spring to show her something bright again, and break

the solitude, this hermit’s share of winter days.

She counts the weeks, that come and go on red wings,


and as though the years were stuck in amber, she remembers

her love as a ballplayer, in stockings and a red cap

with a winged emblem. She threads a flower in her hair

and shivers in her sun-dappled skin, and hears


an old familiar voice saying Lovely, come

and while away the years beneath the apple blossoms.

Will Johnston