Can you hear the the whisper of spring? Hush—it is in the murmur of new green stretching out of gray cottonwood branches along the muddy Rio Grande. Listen for it in the sigh of strawberry leaves and peach bark reddening in the shortening shadows. There will be the clamor of stone-fruit blossom and house-finch hatchling soon enough. For now, the trees are still tight-fisted, and the grumble of the neighbor's backyard chickens scratching the warming Earth is the only noise. In the first gentle light, Venus dresses quietly. She pulls her cerulean garter over the pink hip of horizon, draping the still slumbering world in the golden gauze of a frosty morning.