Yesterday was my first full day back from Spring Break (topped off by a short trip with Annie). It felt good to put the house in order, make a grocery list, and even run a few errands (normally I detest errand-running). Some of you are still in the throes of winter, so just know that my heart is with you. But here? In Houston? We had a high of 69 -- blue, blue skies and a gentle breeze. In the pool floats a thin layer of yellow pollen. Our red oak grew a whole set of new leaves in the week I was gone. Everything seemed fresh and clean and somehow . . . benevolent. In the favorable light of Spring, I threw back the sun roof, picked up a Sonic drink, and played the music loud. (And yes, I'm sure my kids were embarrassed by my Spring ardor.)
I racked my brain for a way to write SPRING and WIND IN MY HAIR and SUN WARMING MY FACE. But I failed, because I needed to make DINNER, and bake three loaves of banana bread, and get my house cleaned up for a church meeting.
Also, I'm not Billy Collins. Do you think he has to make dinner?
Spring Fever (from TNYT, April 23, 2011)
Finally, it is time to observe the old ritual
of opening the windows, easily performed
without a shove from any hooded little druids
and no need for a circle of flaming stones.
Yes, the day has arrived to lift the panes
that kept the cold out and the warm in
and gave you a place to stand some days
to watch the snow in its silent descent.
But now a soft, fresh breeze rushes in,
no longer sharpened by the knives of winter
that lately pierced your face
and threatened to shatter your porcelain ears.
A blessing is this new sweet air --
the word zephyr springs to your lips --
that lifts the light curtains
and rejuvenates the room so persuasively
that the oil portrait of your grandfather
appears to be smiling down
from the confines of his heavy frame.
Even the goldfish turns in her round bowl
to face the light from the thrust-open window.
It is spring.
Crocuses break forth. The dogwood trembles.
Persephone touches the earth with her wand.
And there you stand in your blue robe
breathing in the season, filling your lungs
with every bud and blossom,
inhaling every spore and fleck of pollen
until the goldfish leaps into the air
at the sound of your thunderous sneeze.