I’ve written a poem, if it can be called that – it’s something I do about once every two years, and just about as competently as a Detroit CEO writing a Valentine’s Day message to his estranged wife. Except that, being a writer, I am moved to string words together, come what may, and so here it is. On the Internet.
It’s about February, a month that seems to gather up all the worst of winter into itself, all the grey and bleak bits, minus the festivities of the solstice. It just lingers and lingers, like a frazzled bachelor uncle after his latest breakup, or that friend who always stays until the bitter end of the party, while you mentally review the number of bottles that need to go into the recycling bin, and the pate curling at the edges, stewing on a plate with the cheese rinds and grape seeds, the crumbs on the floor and the leaves that’ll need to be taken out of the table, the glasses that still need to go into the dishwasher, and all the rest, but your friend is telling you about his first trip to the third world and his first real glimpse at capitalism’s underbelly, and how transformative it was, even though, he says, it somehow didn’t spur him on to the activism he probably lacked a true vocation for, and you’ve heard this before, maybe thought it yourself, and certainly don’t feel like rehashing it now, when most of the guest have left and you’ve known for a long time that these parties aren’t the salons you once thought you might host, but slightly more sophisticated version of the raucous blowouts you hosted as an undergrad. You’ve got a lot to do tomorrow, like every day it seems, the list just gets longer and the time shorter, and if you don’t get your beauty sleep you won’t even want to leave the house, let alone cross all those items off the list, but it looks like this friend is just never going to leave, and you wish you could get away…
A short month of shortening days that feels
As long as winter itself
Holds the frozen, crackling key
To the mystery of the seasons.
Gatekeeper to spring, stretched taut across this season
Like a sheet forgotten under the snow
That swirls tiredly, as fresh as dust outside
My window, its plastic veil sagging,
Dreaming of its cosmetic renewal in April or possibly March.
Oh spring, when will you spring on me
Your big reveal?