The chalked branch bisecting
the window plays temporary dead
but supports the breezy life
of early birds, who fly in,
stilts first, like fuzzy kettles.
I could look it up: Why eggs?
I don’t need to know: Why not?
The sun will shine or it won’t.
In Michigan, gray and twenty-eight.
In Daytona, eighty-two.  Puny
shoots here, fields of flowers,
spring mice, or sun, sand, and
breathy skin there.  Cloudburst
or late-winter stone.  The garden
awaits its orange day lilies, their
uniform blooms, and ducks’ return
to the complex’s phony pond
is like friends dredging courtesy
from their mouths back at work.
Children will hunt outside, or in:
Jesus, hardboiled and then deviled.


D. R. James’s poetry collections are Since Everything Is All I’ve Got (March Street) and five chapbooks, most recently Why War and Split-Level (Finishing Line). Poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies, including Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford (Woodley) and Poetry in Michigan / Michigan in Poetry (New Issues). James lives in Saugatuck, Michigan, and has been teaching writing, literature, and peace-making at Hope College for 32 years.