The First Sign of Spring

The short dark days of winter in Spokane
had been pulling at my pant legs
and sucking at my rubberized winter boots,

each day its own black hole suck
of frozen slush and muck,
when it’s all you can do to get in the car

and drive to Safeway for a six-pack
and some baby food and bananas
and Pop Tarts for tomorrow morning,

when what should my wondering eyes behold
but a fat girl doing a cartwheel
in the Safeway parking lot,

her buns like bowls full of jelly
in gray sweat pants, her tummy flesh
flashing out from under layers of winter clothes.


  1. Quin Finnegan says

    Holy Cow!

    er… I mean,


    uh … that won’t do, either …

    Good Lord!!

  2. Bartholomew Snibbs says

    Lovely stuff. I especially love the list (you know I love list poems).

    You could tighten the language a bit here and there, make it a little less prosy. For example, the first line could become:

    Short dark Spokane winter days

    and while I can figure out that this takes place in late afternoon or evening (right?), what about telling us that upfront. I liked the frozen slush and muck, but the idea of the girl cartwheeling in the snow, or while it’s snowing, is really appealing. Like a snow globe.

    I’m undecided about the night before christmas references. The images work great, but they also make me wonder is this before christmas? after christmas? christmas eve? Though if it’s christmas eve, the shopping list could deflate a bit the mood, which ends on such a lovely upper.

    The ending works really well, very satisfying.


  3. Rufus McCain says

    Very helpful comments. Thanks.

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