have nothing better to do this winter afternoon
and the gray is more than empty trees and sunlessness,
and because the blood bright stab of the woodpecker’s crown
is so quick and sure in my crag-limbed crab apple tree—
which I have not axed as useless because for two weeks in May
this tangle pulses with yellow scent and bees’ buzz—
because I watch her jab the soft fruit I’ve left
not for her or any other thing but only because
crab apples are sour, small, and tedious,
but in the highest emptiness, grim poverty
of my winter branches, a bird has found
reason to thrust the bright red revel of her head.
Lee Robison lives west of Paradise, Montana, with his wife and cat. His poems have appeared in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Owen Rister Review, Plains Poetry Journal, and San Fernando Poetry Review.