Spring Stretches

If winter sleeps, then spring stretches,
moving its stiff muscles after the deep rest,
like a yawning cat awakening to take a stretching bow,
or, in the morning, rolling to your back in bed,
reaching arms and legs in four directions
to extend your muscles to their furthest point,
and release.
The settling of bones make you ache, un-movement,
until that cathartic sprawl, electrifying dulled nerves.
A tingle of energy.

The birds tell you when it’s time
to slide your window open for the first time of the year,
and the house is filled with nature’s chatter on stereo;
you didn’t notice how deaf you’d grown,
how silent snow sounds, how insulated we made ourselves.
Spring is loud,
birds twittering, chirping, trilling, whistling,
wind rustling, insects’ wings whirring,
passing cars’ mechanic sigh,
raindrops on your shingles, percussive drip,
thunder growling from the bottom of its belly,
all muted while the winter slept–only slightly snoring–
but now we stretch,
stretching open the windows,
deconstructing the barricades built,
stretching open our arms,
our eyes,
our hearts,
emboldened by new life.
And soon
the trees are sprouting yellow-green poms,
a foreshadowing of their leafy, full form,
silly how big the tree and how small the leaf buds.
And also, a creeping sensation of discomfort
to lay eyes upon a tree with adolescent leaves;
is it inappropriate to watch as the tree tries to bloom?
A vague likeness to watching a person dress for a party.
It’s that feeling of reveal,
like when you step outside in a t-shirt
and the warm breeze curls against your arm
reminding your senses that you have skin,
how, to wear shorts for the first time of the season
feels like walking on stage, hyper-aware of self.
Spring is vulnerable,
spring is unapologetic, shameless,
spring sings,
We are On the Way,
and we celebrate that.
Such a time of massive shifting,
from our dormant lives,
an upheaval of the senses.
The pollen-blended moisture in the air reminds our noses
of springs past,
memories evoked,
transported to our sensations of yesteryear,
last spring,
two springs ago,
ten springs ago.
Writing a middle school essay for language arts class in your childhood bedroom
the window open and only three weeks of school left, restlessness pumping through your sprouting legs,
moving into your first apartment,
carrying a dresser with your dad up a flight of stairs, grunting and sweating,
glazed with raindrops, trying to hold your grip with all your might,
meeting your husband before he was your husband,
a first date at an ice cream shop, your hair in a spring state of frizz,
chocolate dripping down your chin because your tongue went numb and your heart
was pumping too fast with excitement at his charm.

Cycle of nature,
now back to that point on the circle that
bends back and kisses this same spot,
all springs are connected across time
so of course we feel dazed with nostalgia
and energized with hope, leaning forward,
expectant, chirping like a cat at the window
with its eyes engaged on fervent blue birds;
another revolution of the cycle
spinning onwards.
If we know one thing,
it seems that the cycle
keeps the steady momentum,
on and on and on,
stretching always onwards,
the great balance of life.

For more poems on Slanted Spines, visit the Poems page here. Thanks!


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