FEBRUARY

There is a place in the calendar
when a season rides on a whim—
it could be a white, winged-Pegasus
on the muscle without a bridle,

or a tiny low off the coast
drawing moisture into
a growing vortex spinning sheets
of rain to start the canyons,

to keep the grass alive—when the future
teeters for a week or so about the time
the Turkey Vultures show in pairs.
Two or three more and spring is over

before it began and the cows
bring their calves down early
off the mountains for adoption,
when we all look to the sky

for a sign. The ground squirrels
quit playing grab-ass for a moment
to study the near horizon, listen
as rattlesnakes wait on the edge

of their dens for the weather
to make up its mind, as if it had one.
But we’re not riding blind—
any kind of pagan sign will do.

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