Fall let go of leaves like a drunk his inhibitions
and winter proved that cold is lack of heat.
And now it’s time for buds. Erupt! we urge,
and so they try. They grope for sun like infant fists
that grab at toys outside the crib. It may take years,
as no spring slumped so naked, old man
in his birch bark skin awaiting nurse and sponge.
I rummage through your house for Easter eggs
of worth. There’s CorningWare and chutney.
Packing tape. A calendar with fighting ships. Jars
of corks. Napkins from the days of monograms.
Ballcaps, navy and beige, sweat stains on the bands
like salt on tequila rims. I move through the rooms,
funneled through the hall as through a narrow-
necked decanter. I sort and box debris and am
aglow with love, feeling red. For red is the colour
of spring, not pastel pink or yellow, and not the white
of messiah robes, laundry-clean after three days
in a sepulcher, but the red of his blood past mortality’s
threshold. The most positive colour of all, though
it’s never found in hospice rooms or support worker
scrubs. A colour we fear because it’s what’s inside us,
the colour of what our jealous skin will fight like hell
to keep from view. But red is what the world is, truly,
that family of colours with such haunting names.
Vermilion. Scarlet. Cinnabar. New life steaming in
its afterbirth. Coke cans exposed by snow like risen
ice men on their alpine slopes. Your children’s hair
the sheen of a proof set penny in that bliss
when families live forever. And now? What can I do
but stack you, boxed up, on the red Persian rugs,
in awe at how much life a tiny house can hold?
Now and then I take a hit of Malbec though it’s not
yet noon. I cannot face this day without some ruby
courage. I’m caught by my wife. I blush. She still thinks
Easter is for daffodils and sweet wet green
that cools the tongue. She hasn’t seen what I have seen.
Right there, at yard’s edge. The most beautiful thing.
Dogwoods shooting up through dawn, networks of
branches like the veins in the sclera of my bloodshot eyes.