dark in the morning
still light out at six pm
mondays are mondays
dark in the morning
When I think about spring cleaning
I think about warm days in April throwing
all the doors and windows open
and sweeping the dust right
out over the threshold
but most years I find
that as soon as the light starts
to change I start diving in
and cleaning deeper Maybe it’s just
because I can see the dirt better
well the sun is back today
in a big way
man I was pretty frustrated
when I found out I only had half
an hour to be where I needed
to be not an hour and a half
but my bedroom only
gets sunshine in summer light
months and it’s hard to
be mad at that
Today I walked up a snow-covered hill
and didn’t break through the crust
this is a delight only venerable
snow can afford
the calendar worked out
so that February’s Fridays
were multiples of seven
which felt very neat
and orderly and a little
to be out done
is also laying out
it’s Fridays through the seven
by April we will
it right up to seven times four
Wednesday morning there were two priests on the corner by the bakery in robes like for mass I suppose I was confused then I saw their little mobile can of ashes and realized the significance of my Cape Verdean student telling me about Mardi Gras time in the islands two festivals I knew of that I didn't realize March contained
Walked around the block before eight o’clock this morning
it wasn’t that cold
a few birds were singing
and the way the light slanted down, it felt just like spring
so the iced over banks of old snow
but they belong here
more light coming
more snow possible tonight
and for a few days starting on Tuesday
March won’t fit into your boxes
March has it both ways
This is an excellent time of year
for tiny landscapes
two-foot mountain ranges
full of delicate delicate peaks
and crests of dirt-covered ice
flood planes crossed with
channel systems spanning
the foot of the drive way
deltas and all
There’s a certain kind of gray day
where you don’t even really see clouds in the sky
just endless pale grayness
that makes it feel as though the day lacks boundaries
oh, is it morning?
oh, is it afternoon?
oh, it is night.
This year, instead of deciding on what I want to try to modify in my life all at once and hoping I can stick it out for the whole 364, I am trying to make monthly resolutions. I have a lot more opportunities to get back on the wagon this way. Also, more opportunities to change wagons. Or repaint my wagon. Or whatever.
Which is good, because this winter I have fallen off every wagon I tried to get on. Situations in my work kept changing, and as I struggled to adapt, effects rippled out to the rest of my life.
And it’s been a cold, snowy winter.
I am committed to seasons. I love the variety of them, all the different types of days I get to experience. I appreciate the austere and intricate beauties of winter. But I am also a huge lover of growing things, and by February I begin to miss grass and moss and leaves on the trees a lot. And I miss the sunshine, obviously. I get worse and worse at going out after dark. I feel as though I have less time in my days, but of course I have the same 24 hours as ever. I can become grumpy and resentful about winter, and frustrated that spring takes so many months to come.
In the past I have been unfair to March. This morning I was thinking about my resolutions and what I want to do in this month, and it occurred to me that March really doesn’t get a lot of attention. I feel like I always want to skip over March, and I think western cannon sort of does too. So this year, I am going to try to pay a lot of attention to the particular character of March. I want to try to love it for exactly what it is.
This year, I will show March I care about it by writing it a poem for each of it’s days.
March 1st Poem
Today I bought pussy willow
branches at the market
They have had them
since February but
that seemed too soon
March is a good time
for soft grey buds
I went a
and bought daffodils
I think humans are just really hard to anticipate.
In how human they are, I mean. I guess.
The school where I’m working this year has a really big Cape Verdean population. I get to hear stories about a different culture, a beloved and romanticized world where half their relatives still live.
They say it’s all about family there. They say people are more happy and more active and everyone lives outside. After dinner they all go down to the preguica, like a square, I suppose, and everybody hangs out. They say everyone on the island knows everyone else.
They say it’s tropical, you know, a country made up of like a hundred islands. They say that people in Cape Verde think America is just work and pay bills all the time. That even though they don’t have much there, they don’t want it, either.
They say they want to go back. Someday, if they can.
It’s a longing and an identity I’ve never had.
I find myself moved at unexpected moments.
It’s hard to know what to bring, but due diligence seems like a good first step. It’s hard to know when you have understood someone.
For instance, I have looked up preguica, on its own and in connection with Cape Verde. It seems to be a type of or name for a sloth, or an obscure subdivision of a particular city, or else a small town. It doesn’t appear to be Creole for any sort of town gathering place.
I have more learning to do. I have a question to ask.
It’s a human enough thing to offer.
for a month that is so full of things
which I look forward to all year
may certainly has a tendency
to make life difficult
maybe it’s just that spring springing
damn near necessitates gratitude
and gratitude is difficult to come by in this world