Really now, it had nowhere to go
Except toward Summer. Wasn’t
that a given? Wasn’t Spring given
Specific instructions about the dawn,
The new leaves, those choruses of frogs?
Still there it is sulking in the first
Week of April like a schoolgirl
Upset over something she can’t have
But doesn’t really want anyway.
High in the Sierra a late season
Snowstorm has turned the world white
Again. There are no flowers, no buds,
No rivulets babbling and gurgling.
There is so much snow the dawn seems
Late, There is a smile on the lips
Of Spring, if only for a day or too.
Perhaps that will be enough.
We will go to the market and buy
Vegetable seeds , try to recall the
Heat after Easter creeping back, getting stronger.
We’ve had some of them stored for years in that wooden pantry just below the cellar stair, where mom kept the plums and tomatoes and pickles. They were the words. The special ones we didn’t use everyday. When guests came we would open some and they would spark conversation. After dinner with a slice of pie and slice of cheese those deeper ones that stuck to the sides of the jars would be scraped carefully and served up. The ones that mattered, like blood and its engines, famine and tumult. They are gone now. So much time has passed since childhood that even the pantry is difficult to remember, let alone those words. Still they pulse through our bodies. Unlike cells they are not replaced every seven years by a new one. We hold them in our hearts and mouths and call to one another across time as if it were a fence between yards.