The sun is nervous

As a kite

That can’t quite keep

Its own string tight.

Some days are fair,

And some are raw.

The timid earth

Decides to thaw.

Shy budlets peep

From twigs on trees,

And robins join

The chickadees.

Pale crocuses

Poke through the ground

Like noses come

To sniff around.

The mud smells happy

On our shoes.

We still wear mittens,

Which we lose.

-John Updike in The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury

I like this, because when I look out the window, I can see an abandoned coat under the monkey tree, a pair of cast away mittens on the neighbor lady’s lawn, a broken toboggan by the garden’s edge and a bike cart with assorted bikes in the lean-to of the garden shed.

I see bits of fly away pampas grass, dead lavender stalks, detritus that the snowplows threw into our lawn, and daffodils shooting up in the sheltered spots.

Some days I step out the door and rush back inside for my insulated coat, and other days the sun really is as benevolent as it looks, and that is just how it is in March.

In March we rake the gravels back out of the lawn onto the lane and severely prune the grapevine and sweep out the accumulation of junk in the playhouse because you never know. We put the skates back into the attic and order seeds and clean up the game closet from the winter’s depredations. In March we feel as though we may need therapy. But in March there is always the possibility that Tomorrow May Be Fine!

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