This year March wants us
to think it’s still February.
Tonight neighborhood chimneys
exhale wispy columns of smoke
straight up into a chilly black sky.
But then I see Arcturus climbing
above the northeastern rooftops
and remember what that means.
The cycle of seasons is turning
again right before my eyes,
with every tick on the clock.
But the progression seems slow.

Stars are like old friends to me,
faithful and familiar.
The brightest have proper names,
and even the dimmer ones
bear a Greek alphabetical tag.
I was 37 years younger when
the light I see this quiet evening
headed my way from that
first magnitude twinkling
orange speck in the Herdsman.
That time went by fast for me,
with light speed.

Winter will not surrender
just because the calendar
says it’s time to do so.
Here we are then, waiting for
the dawning of spring,
looking for our cue from nature
like tight little tulip buds
yearning to bloom, to gradually
let go, risking the threat of a
late frost, to finally unclench
supple petals and reach upwards
to our very own star.

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