The Vernal Equinox
Each quarter-turn carries an invitation.
Spring’s on-again, off-again wind calls for séance,
candlesticks and musky incense, perhaps sage.
My mug of coffee cools fast. I do not fight
in-between-ness, transience set in scarcity.
No angels, fireworks, zombies or astronomers’
star stampedes. The clay pots hold slime browns
of marigolds and geraniums that bloomed
last August. The glass table for al fresco July
dining is spread in algae scum. Alder catkins
clog the birdbath. A one-inch Japanese maple
sprouts from the pot that once waved gold feather grass.
Relish here the half hitch between in and out breaths.
Let the dogs bark down the creek where the coyotes
howled last night. Let the boys bounce their basketballs
on the street slick from a four o’clock shower.
Smell more of mold and mildew in the matted leaves
than scent of daphne from around the corner.
The conspiracy of spring asks this one thing –
see that when the season turns, so do the rushes
rise from the creek, the alders, the return of robins,
flickers and bluejays. The hungry desperation
of crows dwindles. One foot here,
and one breath there is how to set this table
for the spirit that knows half-way
as an emerald twig-thicket break out,
a milestone in a life as long as mine.
Tricia Knoll is a Vermont poet who formerly spent many of her Marches in Portland, Oregon. She is grateful to announce the release of her new chapbook, Checkered Mates from Kelsay Books…on sale through April 15.