Down at the Riverfront Athletic Club, where some days I stroll on the treadmill and stare out the windows at pickups crossing the bridge over the Rock River, rumor was that the robins are back in town. Sure enough, this morning, one was huddled in our back yard, all puffed up and forlorn on frozen water in the birdbath. I tried to snap a photo, but the bird was shy and flew off to the neighbor's side of the fence. There's a bitterly cold and fierce wind roaring today, but the snow has melted and my snowdrops are blooming, so I have hope that spring will come.
March Forth, by Ralph Murre, in the Wisconsin Poets' Calendar, 2009
March came in like either a lamb or a lion
and left like an animal, too. I forget which one.
April came in like Winnie-the-Pooh
and left kind of like Tigger and
May came in like Mickey Mantle
and left too soon. Now it's a morning in June
coming in soft on moth wings,
or walking in lady slippers
over mossy things and I suppose
the month will leave in those
sandals people buy for river rafting
July will come in like a vacationer
with sunburn and probably will go out
like a thunderstorm receding in the night.
August will creep in when we least expect it,
like the neighbor's dog at a BBQ,
and leave like a back-to-work tourist
as the yellow school bus brings a Green Bay Packer
and leaves and leaves and leaves
after its coach turns into a pumpkin and
November may arrive in a t-shirt
or a heavy coat and will leave
like a turkey, not like December,
which will come in like a young buck
who's escaped the hunters
and will exit up the chimney.
January will come in all bubbly,
dragging February behind like a last-resort date,
and they will stay long after the party's over.