Off Guard

It happens this way
every year
spring gently wafting across warmed air
eager to coax stem and seed

I watch on tiptoe
tiny buds appear
knowing this year
I’ll catch the unfurling
brilliant green growth.

And then! Again,
I peer outside
and what the day before
was only the barest hint
has unfolded
come alive.

With eyes wide open
twice, thrice, four times even
a lazy stroll through the yard . . .
the sudden appearance
of what was mere promise
catches me quite off-guard.