We walked diagonally through the yard
This girl with whom I have studied and
preached with for three years
Younger than me by two decades
but strong-jawed and quick to speak out
A righteous and intelligent defender
of lost causes and hopeful people
Our bare heads glossy under the sullen skies
As the first small flakes flew
I joked that it was just … something else?
Ash from something burning somewhere?
Detritus from the construction site
we’ve been skirting for seven seasons?
Shredded paper wafted by a cold breeze
out of a dumpster?
She stomped her foot, threw her arms open,
“It is not mother-fucking snowing!”
I knelt down and watched
one single confetti
Land in its perfect shape and
melt away on the brick
Leaving a mere circle of wet to
mark its passage
Between states of frozen and thawed
Sighed and stood again, chuckling.
“Oh, yes. It’s the seventh day of April,
And it’s emm-eff snowing.”
I couldn’t quite curse it.
I couldn’t quite welcome it.
I have wept from my gut this week
In all kinds of psychic pain.
Today I chortled in the back of my throat
at this prank of weather and world.
We kicked at the soft earth and stepped
On the fleeting pale froth that quickened to water
Beneath our percussive feet
And I laughed again.
Cold, wet and unprepared.
Heavy sweater flapping open
Shivering in thin cotton
No gloves, no hat.
Flinging into the ether
whatever unguarded emotion
Emerged from that same belly
That churned with tears a few mornings ago.
Under bare branches that I ache
To see swell with green buds
Hurrying now toward the pub
Where we would lift an amber-sloshing glass
And pray over the suds
And say good-bye for now
Before telling our hopes for the future
I giggle again, stomach clenching, until it hurts
Stomping my feet.