There are a few Waxwings lingering at the runoff watering holes. They won’t be here long – the north has summoned them. The robins and their tuneful throats have finally moved in. Before long, eggs. Crows cackle and shift from claw to flight – black hatchets in the sky. The sun has burned away the white blankets and revealed the shame of last fall’s yard. Mulch for the never-dying, ever-horrible lawn. The Saturday heathens are resting for their Sunday business. There will be no takebacks for them.

The spring evening’s drift: long, vestigial light. The rituals are necessary and full of work. Collect eggs, citrus peel, butter, and flour for the bread; add a trace of golden raisin for those wishing to ensure redemption. Prepare the beast’s hock, give it honour by setting the stove properly. Vegetables must be selected with care – there may never be another chance. Wash the floors, scrub the bath, employ the vacuum, break a promise. Fresh table linens, prime cutlery, beeswax candles. None of this is new.

Regard the guests, for they are your life. Pledge to not fix or complain, rehash or eye-roll. Accept your place in the order of things. Do not lament your almosts, they are roadway dust. Listen and hold. That is all that is required.

Happy Easter from The Edmonton Poetry Festival.