20 Feb / Write 28 Days: Noticing

Late Winter

These not-much days, 
late winter you hope, when 
the air breathes like a spring 
morning until a few steps later it’s freezing, 
north wind chapping nose and lips 
as you walk, sidestepping and slipping 
on iced-over snow, some days a sleety 
splash from passing drivers, 
who are warm, 
and already elsewhere.

The next day 
a few inches of falling snow, 
not quite the reassuring blanket it was 
in December, but better than the grimy infiltrates 
now coating the town, sticky ice chunks plow-hurled 
and remaining. 
Better the frosted clean veneer, 
even winter-white and unceasing.

Spring is slow here. You shiver 
as you write, although the woodstove has been trundling 
since noon. Drinking tea like a chain smoker, 
a scarf coiled three times around your neck, 
roaming the house, accumulated hours 
watching at windows the wire-legged birds puffed 
to stay alive. Juncos and sparrows settled 
in snow close to the house, below pinched 
hollies and hydrangeas, sheltered and waiting, watching. 

And you, you’re also waiting, as you know,
for longer days and easeful air,  
watching for that prefiguring green mist, ordinary sidewalks, 
weeks when you’ll be forgetting scarves and steamy tea, 
the consequential world gazed through cold glass, 
the rarity of bitter walks leading home at last, 

these not-much days,
the way time slips and 
melts away.

© M Wms. Feb 2022

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