This afternoon, while I was walking home, I was missing spring. Even though today was a lovely late-summer day (not too hot or muggy), it's a good evening to post j. lewis' "waiting for spring"!
waiting for spring
the weather station keeps count
of snow days and records broken
but i don't, not any more
from the kitchen window
everything is white
yard, picnic table, mounded caps
on fence posts
icicles drip all day
refreeze at night
their own circle of life
turning with no break in sight
i half-hear the television
news hour winding down
into another repetitive
report and prediction
cold air and moisture
moisture and cold air
we're buried under
another fifteen inches of snow
just from today
and still it falls
gazed fixed on the garden side
of the blanketed yard,
i realize that i am starving
for color, for spring,
i never cared for cats
or their ability to ignore me
until they wanted something
and then it was either
the plaintive mew, mew, mew
like sandpaper on my eardrums
or the claws-out climb
up my pant legs
so they could stare me
right in the face
with a self-centered
"well? where's dinner?"
they never learned either
from the sudden drop
back to the floor
that they had picked
the wrong post to scratch,
that the one they really wanted
was already in the kitchen
humming softly as she
made dinner for us all
but now the cat-bowl's empty
the kitchen's gone quiet
and the house is so large
that i'm thinking of something
i swore i'd never do
i'm seriously considering
getting myself a dog
when the last one leaves
eighty nine and pushing ninety
her friend and husband of fifty two years
recently gone, but she had family
lots of family who stayed to help
but life doesn't stop for the living
and when the helpful, lingering son
boarded his early morning flight
well, that was it
she says she has another son
"the hippie-druggie who thinks
that he's the president"
who will come next week
he didn't make the funeral
because no one knew his number
he called the morning of
when it was too late
forever too late
her voice cracks with sad resolve
"i had to let go of trying to fix him"
though she hasn't ever let go of him
not in her heart, not in her mind
she wonders how it will be
him coming home for a short stay
to clean the garage one last time
not fearful, but wary of what he is
recounting that when ed was alive
it was never an issue at all
"because nobody messed with ed"
her head nods as she counts off
all the family who have gone before
a few older, but mostly younger ones
she laughs and says "oh, please
don't let me live to be a hundred"
i think she just doesn't want to be
around when the last child leaves her
|Image by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay |
I left the meeting early when I saw the sky.
Too cloudy for the Perseids. A shame, really.
Stars falling, like love fell into my heart,
A flash of brightness, a streak of light.
The magic of the universe burned
In my secret, hopeful hiding place.
But nothing to see tonight.
I took the freeway home. Traffic crawled.
The cloud cover broke briefly.
I stopped along a freeway off-ramp.
Stared at the unsettled sky.
A single bright line traced its path to the ocean.
The clouds closed ranks. Rain came.
I try, but I can't explain
How like that meteor you are.
j. lewis is an internationally published poet, musician, and nurse practitioner. His poems have appeared online and in print in numerous journals from California to Nigeria to the UK. His first collection of poetry and photography was published in June 2016, and is available on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/clear-
day-october-j-lewis/dp/ 168073055X). A chapbook "every evening is december" was published by Praxis Magazine (http://www.praxismagonline. com/every-evening-december-j- lewis/) in February 2018. A second book of poetry is forthcoming from Kelsay Books.
I have to play Blossom Dearie's "They Say It's Spring": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efj_BYAd_dI
Here she is singing "It Might As Well Be Spring" in French: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt3D8byEHOo
I'm going to switch to the Bill Evans Trio's version of this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUvIdEWiQms
I'll finish with Chet Baker's "I Talk to the Trees": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akBff675l1Y&list=PLT7plFTTc7GhOZYZ37E4bl1jxR-3ltNdT&index=11