April is the cruelest month. Today, I passed not one but two deer slain beside the road too dulled by hunger to avert too dull to be alert. Or maybe it was the drivers’ greed for speed after winter, rushing to beat the clock as if time hadn’t been called on March Madness too buzzed to hear the buzzer. Ka-thunk. Drive on. Dull roots stir with spring rain. The snow recedes ebb tide across the field brown grass turns yellow iris spears poke murky loam crocuses, like hatchlings: mouths open, hungry even for pale sun. A week from now, amnesia sets in. We’ll misremember it’s always been green. mixing/Memory and desire for a childhood when we played stick ball in the streets rode bicycles to the library without helmets or grownups. Car, car, C – A – R, stick your head in a jelly jar! Julie, Michael Irene, Andrew Hilary, Jessica, Felicia, Donny, Stevie, Mark Roberta, Andy Kim, William Michael, David, Jonathan all on our street. Seasonal rituals I’ve taken down bird feeders in deference to bears, dragged skis to the basement, swept the garage, hauled grow lights upstairs. Nursing seedlings— Hog Hearts and Plum Royals— greedy for August tomatoes while still diving into the freezer to thaw last year’s sauce. Another memory My mother walked me to school that first day. How did she know other children would also be on the march or the teacher would be there? The time from Passover to Passover was so long I had bigger Mary Janes a longer spring coat a new dress. The rituals vaguely familiar, but the mystery’s always the same: If there's no blood on our doorpost, how did the grownups know it was time to retell the story? Is innocence not knowing how to tell time? Or is maturity knowing the lengthening days bring humidity and anticipation: nascent leaves open a chartreuse scrim closes the forest turns workaday green, until blue in August, then red, orange, yellow and brown they fall the air dries, nights crisp and cool. The earth spins faster as I wind down reinvent myself again. I see backwards and forward: the blood and mucus of birth, the papery skin of death, the effort of living, the ultimate rest. I want to believe I will be ready, but-- not yet. Just because religions observe the miracle of spring since the beginning of time, the rebirth of the earth is no less remarkable for repeating itself. But be honest: birth isn’t easy. Rebirth, less so.