Nancy: March storms come with this consolation: March snows disappear faster than those of January and the days are coming when we don't have to backpack the groceries in.
Almanac Straight Bay March
Sun slides down the north slope of Stone Man Hill;
early risers find live coals in the stove.
If a man’s willing to stumble through drifted snow
he has the right to hoe the flats for clams.
What do you want to eat? What are you willing to carry
on your back?
Wind slicks all white. The dogs never ran their
investigations; I come home never having left.
The calendar and the woodpile disagree.
The dogs believe in omnipotence. They ask to
roll in the grass.
Clouds open and let us see the face of the moon,
23,000 miles brighter.
The moon pulls the sea over the road and out of the bays.
Some almanacs ignore this; some make a brief reference:
Moon, full, perigee.
Riddle: how can a woman of moderate height reach
into treetops and stroll over the garden fence?
Answer: the woman goes where her snowshoes take her.
Looking in my backpack for food, newspapers, daffodils.
As for buds, I defer to grouse. When they gather in the
birches I believe in change.
Winter storm warning. What am I willing to carry
on my back?
Alan: Age was cruel to my mother, and so it may be to me. Perhaps all we can do, in the immortal words of the Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour, is “Stay calm. Be brave. Wait for the signs.”
Fumbling in half-light, I tell you
I’m going to take the mail up the road
and you laugh. It’s “trash,” not “mail”;
today’s Friday, the day I take the trash up the road.
This happens when I’m tired or distracted.
My mind shuffles the deck and pulls some random noun,
or what I see bumps what I’m thinking, as in
“How’s that new clock you’re reading.”
Maybe some day I’ll be like my mother,
for whom language is a sea of flotsam she swims through,
desperately fending off or grabbing whatever strikes her.
Maybe some day I’ll say, “I think I’ll scrub the kitchen floor,”
when what I mean is, “I love you.”
Maybe I’ll say that today.