New Year’s Day

by Ted Kooser

Each thing in the clean morning light
is a promise. I start the day
by building a feeding place for the birds,
stacking up castaway crates in the snow.
How they come! Sparrows and blue jays
dropping like leaves from the elms,
which though burned with disease
still promise some sort of a spring,
their branches lined with hard buds
like birds perching, or the seeds of birds,
still more birds to come.

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