Linked Tanka #2

I don’t remember
Februarys so empty:
the house wrens are gone
the elk are in the white hills,
the earth so old it forgets

it misplaces things:
deer file past without stopping
the grass never wakes
there’s a hole in the pine tree
where scrub-jays used to chatter

but it is nothing.
it is nothing April can’t.
April can’t erase.
nothing April can’t erase.
nothing it can’t remember.

Linked Tanka

the snow reminds me
the apple tree is dying:
the cold, the mule deer;
but it is waiting for me
to learn to love the dry grass

I take the bow saw
to prune back the apple tree;
we both get smaller:
each year there is more dead wood
with each year, just heartwood left