Signs of Spring

Overeager middle schoolers lope in basketball shorts and tank tops

Overeager fortysomething women sport flip-flops and shiny red pedicures

Composite baseball bats clang from nearby diamonds

The ice cream truck tinkles its bell ever so faintly and never appears on our street

Dogs and their owners frolic on every available patch of grass

Hoses and powerwashers and sprinklers hiss and siss and sputter and spurt

Newly inflated basketballs, dribbled on driveways, twang in taut echoes

Window sashes whoosh open mid-morning, to encourage cross-breezes

Bare branches on Tuesday afternoon, dotted with furled buds on Wednesday morning

We never hunger for ice pops, so abundant at the supermarket in winter — yet pine for wider selections and our favorite flavor (cherry) during the seasonal dearth in the frozen foods aisle

Ever-present camp chairs rattle in the trunk of my car, always at the ready for baseball and softball games

Teenage boys ride no-hands and straight-backed and cocksure on bicycles

The aroma of grilled meats wafts at dusk

The indoor cat is an outdoor cat again and the indoor people are outdoor people again

Sunlight extends its hours and its reach and everything — as someone once wrote — is illuminated and you wish you’d written those three words first

Because it’s spring — my forty-fourth one, by my estimation — and I’m still a little girl at the first sense of it, still stirred by the dapple of golden evening sunlight on tree trunks and the familiar necessity of women shading their eyes at 6:00 pm baseball games and the pleasing scent of the grass and the air and the season

There’s no going back now

The daffodils have spoken and the tulips have seconded the motion

It’s spring





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