Listen. Even now, as ice cracks,
a chickadee sings its spring song.
Speak only true names. Redwing blackbird.
Orb-weaver eggs. Dragon cladonia.
When you want to clarify what you meant
to say, say thank you.
Squelch your feet in mud. Let its scent of shale
overtake you, as wind
skims a mottled sycamore sprawled
on Lake Wingra’s thawing shore.
Inside, wordless, wash the dishes
Feed the hungry, not the ghosts.