This land’s Osage Indians, like many tribal people, named each month for its ecological context, bestowing upon March the name of “Just-Doing-That Moon” If it rains, it’s just doing that. If it tornadoes, it’s just doing that. If it’s crazy wind and wildly hot, it’s just doing that, and if it snows, it’s of course just doing that.
Today, after a week of thunder storms, hot and wild wind, balmy breezes, and an explosion of magnolia, daffodil, hyacinth, forsythia, and all manner of blooming trees, it’s time for snow. Here is a poem I wrote about this stretch of the season from my book Landed:
The cupboards licked clean by grief,
I open the front door anyway.
Ice wind, hot sun – too much or too little.
I close the door.
Give me an hour, and the cupboards
fill again with cans and boxes ready
to warm the belly, add weight
to the thin blue glass dinner plates
while the wind turns balmy,
the sky seamlessly white,
both of which scour the ground
which wants something planted
but not just yet.
Close my eyes, the dreams bleed
and quicken, just like this March weather:
a rush overhead as if the bare sycamore
is a canopy of faces, all the ancestors
at their tea party. Open my eyes,
and I can’t remember anything
but this old dog grief, chasing rabbits
in his sleep, always hungry.
When I open the night door to the
Just-doing-that moon, I forget all but
the surprise of snow at midnight
that falls so lightly, it can rest on
the lip of the first daffodil.