The First Day of Spring

Given spring, he unwrapped
His brand new present —
Out flew moths from a nest
Of stale, dusty ribbons —
And he was angry
To be deceived,
As if buds on trees
Were the only things
That pleased him,
Or beds of daffodils
Beside a newly painted fence,
Just so, not these moths
Alighting on his nose.

He pushed aside the ribbons.
At the bottom of the box
Was a bare and muddy field,
Murky water standing at its sides,
Some distance from a rutted road.
He spied a row of power poles
Leading nowhere, a hill, a farm,
An empty barn, but not one sign,
He thought, of spring.

Where was the label?
That was sure to hold a clue.
He found one soon enough
That said This Side Up.
He turned the box over
As a sign of his disdain.
Out fell the poles, and road,
And muddy field, out fell
The water that once was rain.
As the ribbons fluttered down,
Two more moths escaped.

There was nothing left inside,
Nowhere for spring to hide
Its flowers kissed by dew.
The box was desolate.
He stood amid a pile
Of bright wrapping paper
And cursed his sorry luck.
If he could, he would sue
The crooks for making
Defective goods.

Instead, he just gave up
And walked away —
To live and fight, he thought,
Another day.
The moths all flew away.
The ribbons rustled in the breeze,
Then began to move along.

He was deep inside a frown
When he heard a child laugh.
He quickly turned around.
And there she was — a little girl
Dressed from head to toe
In the wrapping paper
He had so hastily ignored.

March 20, 2006

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