Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rites of Spring

One day
this week was warm
with the promise of spring and
by the next morning
there had been three brawls
and three shootings
in our urban village.

This is the thaw after winter
the precursor to summer heat.

Eleven year old girls
told stories of who raced after fights
and peeked their eyes out windows,
who followed the helicopters
waltz in the sky.

The Marches of my own childhood
were spent spotting robins,
spying the first crocus in our neighbor's yard,
watching for the first hint of green
frost the tree tips.

These are the privileges we don't count
when we add up the sum of our lives
the taking for granted of the first warm afternoon and
the shift in the air that starts a new season.

There are no robins.
There's not one crocus.
The trees are bare and spindly.

Spring is here.