It’s 7 AM, and my bare feet
are well smudged from a trek into the yard.

I could have worn garden boots to haul the trash and recycle to the curb,
but sweet chilly grass and
wet dirt are familiars to my skin – even at this time of year,

so sensibility was left sitting by the back door.

I know the planet is changing.
Even in my lifetime, her weather has expanded and contracted
with the unending labor pains and toll that humans are exacting.
I know it’s true, and so

the small victories of nature still trying to stay the course of thousands of years
brings me simple joy. Like this:
the last day of February.

Where true to form, after the same false spring we have
February, (you know the time – the past six days of intoxicating sunshine
when kids walking home from school
rolled up up their blue jeans and their mothers
peeled off sweaters to soak their thirsty skin with warmth),

yes true to form, the barometer has shifted.

(Of course it was false! What else
could it be twenty-one days before the Equinox?)

“Fools,” taunt the daffodils.

From my spot near the fireplace,
I squint through the grey morning light to see
the thermometer outside on the back deck. The mercury is dropping
while behind it, primroses potted
just yesterday
maintain a cheery disposition.

I know that the budding forsythia and quince need more cold.
They need this reminder to “slow down; not yet.”
While the stalwart crocus refuse to be phased –
having already made their lusty yellow and purple entrances in hidden
places around neighborhood. They laugh at us,
“You think…
just because…. we’ve shown up…
that it’s actually springtime?

Fools!” They chime in with the daffodils.

But I’ll not let this brief return to winter restrain the simple joy
of a prelude to the next season
and the dark cold mud pressed between my toes.