April Fool’s Day, snow flurries, dark sky,
winter hanging on like the flu, my day’s
first patient in her seat by the window,
so shy she can’t make a friend. But she’s
calmer on meds and we’re rehearsing how
to say “hello” when—and I swear this is true—
a ruby crowned kinglet perches on a branch
six inches beyond the glass, less than an ounce
of flesh and feathers puffed up against the cold,
belting out a brash, bold claim of power and spring-
time territory, raucous and free as a New Orleans
trumpet, my patient locked-in to the wild tune.
When the one-man-band flies, she sits taller,
a clear note in her voice, brass in her eyes.