First Buds

Every February, when the world is still
more dark than light, these tiny shoots
begin green-nosing up through the frozen ground

of my forgotten beds, pushing aside piles of leaves
left unattended through the dark months.
And I fret and worry over them: will they survive

the freeze and the deer? Will they bloom?
But while I sit wrapped in my blanket, armored
against icicles menacing my bones,

they quietly and bravely seek the sun,
and every year without mind to me,
come through, purpling and pinking the garden.