All over Greensboro, fireplaces harbor a rime of soot. The seams of the sidewalk have crusted with ice again, and droplets on the plum trees too are opaque white pebbles, stalled by nights that still freeze— only now it's more out of habit than conviction; at dawn the birds take up and the sun's gleam through new growth slivers the neighborhood with gold. How can spring, each morning of it, still surprise me? Look at me, I'm new! it says in front of my old brick house where Nina and Julia arrived just a few winters back, to collect me (sleep-deprived, milk-heavy) to walk. To get out of our heads, we said. All of us trying to write something that would last, in the off-hours between drop-off and pick-up. We gave up sugar, ferried parents to hospitals, compared babysitters, read books like How to Live. Saying it this way, as if it's gone, makes us any women, but those mornings felt bright, just born, and we the only three such, as now we are still alone, singular, staring out at the yard or bunkered at the desk or bundled—Nina— into an urn on John's mantel. She died last spring before dawn. Let's not make that a metaphor. Anyway I'm wrong—she was scattered at sea. Still, the forsythia comes back to us, and the persisting morning ice, and sun melting it.