The cardinal’s swee-swee-swee is louder, more piercing
than the 6am light through muslin curtains,
his crest flaming as he hops between still-tight-furled crocus shielding themselves from early-morning’s cold air and not enough sun.
He hops off, one bounce, two, then airborne when I open the door,
stealth lost as I try to shoot his bold color against April’s dull dirt with my short lens,
too-shortsighted to have thought of the need for a zoom.
Early birds and first flowers have better sense when it comes to shielding themselves,
better instincts at correct distances between different species.