In February

In February

In February
Poem by Jennifer Lunden, Portland
(After a complaint to my acupuncturist before getting on her table.)

There’s not even reason for hope till April.
The robins will come, but they will be the Canadian robins,
Which come in February, and not the American ones, which come in spring.
I’ve heard rumors from points south that people have heard birds singing,
That snowmen are listing in the thaw.
But another polar vortex is on its way.
T.S. Eliot said April is the cruelest month,
But he had not lived in Maine in February.
Don’t the lilacs bloom in April?
Don’t the tulips burst through the dirt?
Or is that May?
I know that in the shade of our yard the snow lingers late.
But I remember the crocuses and the tulips and the white daffodils.
And I remember the snowdrops because they come first.
And of course the forsythia, its garish yellow
Forgiven because it is the first color of the season.
The Farmer’s Almanac predicted this brutal cold, these heaps of snow.
But every year we forget what winter means
When the first snow falls in puffy flakes
And we put our hands to our cheeks and watch in wonder.
“It’s snowing!” we say, like children, forgetting, for a moment, the shoveling,
The cars that won’t start, the slipping on sidewalks.
We remember the snow forts and snow pants and snowball fights.
We remember tromping through the snow, the creaking of the snow.
We remember the hush of the city after a freshly fallen snow.
We remember, and then we forget.

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