FIRST DAY OF SPRING

That was the day we'd miss the bus purposely

walk to school the long way.

The sun backstage on the hill

ready any minute to burst out into song.

A tide of steam across the front lawns.

Our mothers in their housecoats

framed in the storm window doorways

yelling for us to keep our jacket's zipped.

We'd say, "Ok." knowing full well as soon

as we were out of view, the layers were

coming off and the cigarettes were coming out.

By the time we'd get to school

our attitudes were so large it was hard

to sit behind those desks

all morning listening to the mercury rising

the outdoors calling us to come back

and hang out on the stone wall.

By noon we could've stood on the sun

unburned by it's glorious fire

and yelled to everyone, "Up here!"

and they would've followed.

We were invincible and we knew it.

The first day of spring.

Teachers called it spring fever

as if we all had some contagious virus

putting us down to keep us contained.

But like the chrome goddesses on the

hoods of our dads' Cadillacs we knew nothing

else but to demonstrate our pure virgin greatness.

Greatness hanging off our necks like lockets

Greatness tied around our wastes with our Irish cardigans.

Greatness like our possessive boyfriends

with its giant arm around our teenage shoulders

walking us to class, singing out against authority

and for our right to party hardy, together

every day right through to next winter

and the next and the next. And nowadays it's funny

when spring rolls around peaking it's nose out

from the great hole in the sky

as we send our own children off to school

and dress ourselves for work

it's not greatness we feel, but a great sense

of nostalgia for those days when we believed

in ourselves most. We've gone from high school

to the federal building, grown tall enough

to see that we are mortal after all

We've birthed children, buried parents

bought houses, lost jobs, followed our heads

questioned our hearts and with all of this

we have learned the importance of being

the first day of spring to each other

all year round, reaching out a warm hand

to close friends in need, reminding them that

brighter days are ahead

and nothing and nobody should ever stop us.