We carefully handle our sub-zero Winter secrets.
But like last year, they begin to dissipate from consciousness
until, like barren tree limbs, we forget they ever held leaves.
As sprinting daffodil spikes and tulip skewers burst through thawing soil,
we unfold stale box tops marked Summer Clothes on one flap,
a child’s name scrawled on the other.
finding out what vestiges of summers past need airing out,
which outgrown shorts, and faded T-shirts require donation
for others’ additional enjoyment.
These temperate pre-Spring afternoons arouse
an assembly of sleepy insects-
ants, ladybugs, house flies- emerging
undead from beneath baseboards, and an assortment
of re-expanding, contracted winter crevices within
our vinyl-sided mortgage cubes.
Socked feet, and tissue-gripping hands enact reprisals like cold-snap death,
on creatures of even-limbed multiples greater than four,
daring to assume this is a warming trend.
Reuniting with a favourite cartoon-print blouse, and the Summer memories it contains,
magnifies a little girl’s curiosity toward a drowsy, brown spider
searching for an outdoor home that is not quite ready yet.
She foils her cat’s playful attempt at murder, and subsequent autopsy;
then admonishes her mother’s dustpan and broom,
encouraging the arachnid’s cautious encroachment onto her palm.
In spite of a forbidding parental forecast, the girl steps
outside in socks and shirtsleeves into withering winds,
which flash-freeze the eight-legged bug into a tumbleweed husk.
“The calendar said it is already Spring!” she says, with chattering teeth.
Her mother says, “Official dates have no sway over seasons, child.
Nature does not always abide.”