Across the street and old man
ferociously attacks the winter kill
on his low-slung juniper.
He steps back to clear the sweat
and smacks his lips in satisfaction.
“Won’t let the new stuff grow,” he says.
His cat bobs her head, agreeing
or just testing the air.
Perhaps she smells the juniper,
the new grass pushing through
the dead mat beneath;
perhaps a mouse is hiding,
desperate for the work to cease.
A breeze stirs the trees,
their branches shaking loose
with a rattle of bones.