Outside in March
The world is dying to be spring
The trees are trying to remember green
The sprouts are poking up between the gold of last year’s straw
And my brother runs
My Simon runs
“Let’s go for a walk”
Wind blowing my hair
Clutching my novel
He follows, my Simon
Stops and turns and points
“Look, Maya, cat!
Cat following us –” his little hand outstretched
Fingers askew, face aglow
“Yes, Simon, the cat is following us.”
The birds are singing
Remembering how to sing
And Simon listens.
His feet squishing the dirt and grass
“Maya – sounds – what? Sounds!”
He stretches out his arm again.
“Birds,” I say. “The birds are singing –”
Yes, Simon, the birds are singing, the world is new –
He asks, brings me back to where I am.
“The birds are hiding”
Hiding like spring beneath the snow
But now the spring is here.
“Simon find birds,” he declares.
And as we walk he tries to find them.
The bramble –
Not a bird.
The dirt –
Not a bird.
No birds can be seen in the sky.
Just all around us, singing.
The cat is still following us,
And she is our bodyguard,
Now going before, pausing, checking for intruders: a scout
Now following behind, our trusty rearguard
Simon is careful not to step on her,
But I see him eyeing her tail as it twitches.
He keeps his hands to his sides as he walks
And the cat follows us.
The clouds open and the sun hits my face
Burns bright, sudden
Simon runs to me laughing,
“Up you Maya? Up you?”
He wants me to hold him.
“Not now,” I tell him.
We wave at our brother and sister, feeding the chickens.
Simon wants to go to the chickens too.
I tell him, “We’re going home
Home to Mommy.”
“Mommy?” he says
His face lights up
And we walk toward the pine trees and home
His hand in mine.
“Maya, see bird!”
As a black one, red-breasted, sings in the grapevine.
We stop and watch it.
The sky suddenly erupts,
And he cries again,
“Maya, see one – no, two birds!”
“Three birds!” I cry back
And we watch them flying into the day
We walk on then,
Leaving the birds behind,
But not the joy they gave us.
Simon has found the birds.
Our brother takes Simon back to the house one way,
And I go another.
A book in my hands,
The sun and wind in the sky,
And the squishy, green ground beneath me.
The grass remembers green,
The world is new again,
And I am glad it rained last night
For now everything is growing.
The birds fly overhead as I step inside.
I wrote this poem the day I took my brother (whose name is not actually Simon) on a walk around our field. He is a sweet, fun little boy who loves our cat, taking walks, and school buses (despite the fact that we are homeschooled).