“Stop the car!”
slamming on the brakes,
at my mother’s exhortation,
sent we three young children
forward into the heavy padding
of our Country Squire station wagon’s front seat.
I do not remember how upset my father was at the outburst
or how long it took to shake off the startling stop.
What I remember vividly is my mother’s face
beaming as she rolled down the window
and peered into a neighbor’s front yard.
a flock of robins
bobbed up and down,
their red breasts jutting out as they righted themselves
between stabs at the thawing lawn,
all in search of seed.
Robins, a harbinger of spring,
still pull me up short
when I spy
the flash of a red breast
or hear the robin’s song
quilt the air on an early spring morning.