Easter Sunday

for James

You, towheaded and all boundless curiosity
are hunting Easter eggs. Your father guides you toward
unseen brightness. Overhead, a shadow crosses.

We are outside for the first time since the grass has greened,
and I find my eyes sweeping our backyard—brilliant orbs
hidden among the broken, the toppled, and the missing.

Another moment of darkness, the final breath of winter’s wind,
a shiver and I turn away; now is the time for this moment,
your treasures mounting in the tall wicker basket.

The wisteria is harboring fat buds, and a few straggling seed pods
are left to dangle in spring’s early warmth. I pluck one, halve it
with my thumbnail, and nestled inside, find a single winged seed.

Yesterday while speeding home, I notice a deer crooked
between hill and street, neck twisted, head lolling in an unnatural angle.
I wanted to turn the car around, see if she was truly dead, but

I had groceries that needed the cold, and you in the back seat.
Today, these clouds pass quickly, shadows of what surely
will come beyond all of this, and yet you, gloriously, hunt on.

By Tara A. Elliott