Warm Welcome Home
This is the day when everything changes.
The rhubarb has sprouted,
the stems bright and red.
The forsythia bloom
golden and precocious.
Soon they will be nothing
but lanky green bushes.
The garden is planted,
fingers crossed for another two weeks
in the hope that we have seen the last of the frost.
This is the day that we first breathe in
the scent of freshly-cut grass,
the day the neighbor
walks the dog in shorts,
the day it doesn't matter
that we've left the front door open.
This is the day the mosquitoes start to swarm,
the day the hose is left attached to the spigot.
This is the day all the neighbors
see each other over the fence
raking the last remnants or winter
from fresh green grass
They notice the year's first dandelions
beginning to speckle the lawn.
Some yards are always more speckled.
This is the day we've been waiting for,
not marked on any calendar.
We move the sweaters and heavy coats
to places hard to reach
and take medication for allergies
for the first time this year.
So unnatural a response
to so natural a change.
This is how we welcome back the grass from the dead,
with a grumble
and a string trimmer.
Christopher Clauss (he/him) is an introvert, Ravenclaw, father, poet, photographer, and middle school science teacher in rural New Hampshire. His mother believes his poetry is "just wonderful." Both of his daughters declare that he is the "best daddy they have," and his pre-teen science students rave that he is "Fine, I guess. Whatever."