Thursday, February 11, 2010


The daphne in our front yard is in full blossom, smelling sweet in the soft, cool, wet dawn. And the maple trees are littering sidewalk, street, and car hoods with, well, whatever it is that maples drop at this time of year. Millions of little wads of dark brown stuff. I suppose it's blossom – surely anything so copiously proposterous must have to do with reproduction – but it looks more like rabbit pellets than like flowers. “Maple turds” is not very genteel. Maybe I'll settle on “maple trash,” or “maple litter.”

It's as difficult to imagine people shoveling snow in Pennsylvania, right now, as it is to imagine the dog days in Australia. There's only so much reality you can wedge into your mind at any one time. It's early for Spring, here, but it sure feels like it. Frost is still possible, even snow, but the crocuses have already placed their bets and are blooming recklessly all across the city. I reckon they know as much about the weather as anyone. I think it's Spring.

I close my eyes and feel the soreness, feel my sinuses bulge like overpacked bags at the airport. I keep waking at three or four, and not being able to get back to sleep. This cold that I should have shaken off last week is keeping up with me, loping along patiently like a wolf marking a herd, waiting for stragglers. If I drank a beer right now, I'd be too sick for work tomorrow. But if I eat right and exercise just enough, but not too much, I might get a full night's sleep and get the better of it.

Soft, soft: this morning, this light. I got a lovely valentine from Sage, a wonderful poem printed deep into thick paper. As Leigh Hunt said,

Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss'd me.

I walked around the house this morning muttering “it's all right, Dale. It's all right.” It's comforting to hear someone say that, even someone with no sense. It's what the crocuses are saying, too.

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