In Virginia, spring can feel
like a fickle friend,
whose arrival is always being delayed
for reasons you suspect are not
as urgent or inexorable
as her letters make them seem.
You forgive the aggravation,
thinking ahead, surely,
to the good times close at hand;
in your mind, she approaches — finally!
in a whirl of bohemian elegance,
dropping half-told stories and future plans
onto your expectant plate.
You let the crumbs and baggage fall
to the polished floorboards —
to be cleared away at some later date —
then rush off into the evening,
bright as the stars,
and full of promise.
Winter is that uninvited relative who
keeps circling back,
presuming upon your continued hospitality;
you offer it dutifully (if lacking in enthusiasm),
but your freeloading guest
seems not to mind, so long as he has
a captive audience
to hear his timeworn tales
as the minutes trickle by.
Finally, your patience wearing thin,
the guise of civility begins to drop:
you let your eyes wander
and a long, slow yawn escape your lips —
“My, how late the hour!”
“Is it really? I suppose…”
“I’ll get your hat…”
“If you insist…”
A little dance of elation as
you watch the front door close,
determined not to answer
should his knock come once again —
You have gone to bed!
But really dreaming, still, awaiting
your capricious, fickle friend.