In the plum’s high branches a chaffinch
stunts among the new leaves.
All month he’s flown here, all cock-a-hoop,
before the leaves were obvious,
when the tree was merely a froth of blossom,
and before that, when the pink buds
were brinked to unwrap.
He arrived, it seems, as soon as the sap
began to move again,
fast toward beauty, softness.
Before we knew for sure.
As if the tree had summoned him.
CAVE WALL PRESS, LLC
Lois Williams was raised in Britain and now lives in Pittsburgh, where she teaches
writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her essay, “The House of Provisions,”
appears in issue 103 of Granta. She is working on a book about the invention of