Today's poem is by Michelle Menting

How after Snowmelt

We checked off our likes, our wants,
and have-nots like items in a suitcase,
like things we'd carry to a weekend
with relatives all grown up. We drove
down a two-lane sided by fields, one
once corn now groomed dirt, the other
black from burning. We compared notes
in the abstract: what do you think about
global warming? When you wake to thunder,
do you feel fear, excitement, do you think:
global warming?
We repeated ourselves
for comic effect. We laughed at newness:
of spring, of the holding of hands, of simple
robins, and how after snowmelt everything
everywhere smells like excrement.
We turned brave, revealed small truths
about ourselves from observing others
from afar, up close, over years of growing.
I said, The only people who watch
Independence Day parades are eight-
year-old girls and white supremacists.

You said, Those who wear useless accessories—
scarves in warm weather, belts on tight pants,
watches that don't keep time—were never hugged
as toddlers.
For a while, we said nothing.
Our hands rested between seats, between knees,
up on the dash. We kept on driving, wondering
whether we had already gone too far.

Copyright © 2018 Michelle Menting All rights reserved
from Leaves Surface Like Skin
Terrapin Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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