January in California
January’s daffodils are absurd.
The trees already bud with fall’s dead leaves
still clinging. The giant sycamore dwarfs
all the sweet gums in the neighborhood,
and these, our neighbors, never rake their yard,
a rebellion of sorts, brownie piles heave,
ruffle. Grasses choke asters under eaves,
oranges are suffocated by blue mold.
He and I pull, chop off, prune and collect:
Dandelions, crabgrass, henbit, hawkweed.
We will the dogwood to bloom and expect
The lemon to offer its first fruit. Hands bleed--
blisters from the butterfly bush unchecked
by frostless winter, and spring at full speed.