Catkin

Today I recognize
the black buds – like a calf’s

wet hooves – of the Ash
Trees of the World calls Fraxinus 

excelsior, the chartreuse
tubular flowers of Salix fragilis,

which filled with nectar when
we still shook hands, shoved

onto crowded, heated trains,
rushed for the bright orange seat

that seemed empty, contained
a clear puddle. In Prospect Park

a toddler cups his palms, tells
his father caterpillar!

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