Three months after their October debut,
the spring fashions have arrived,
as mysterious as ever.
A store-window mannequin
clutches the hem of her cocktail dress,
an expression of frightened vulnerability
painted on her bone-white face.
Out here, it’s hard to tell women
from men in January’s unisex garb:
dark parkas, hats covering half
their heads. They walk briskly,
no time for window-shopping.
I pull my fingers out of
the finger-holes in my gloves
& ball them into fists for warmth.
I think of my gardener friends
starting their flats of tomato seeds,
filling their houses with the smell
of baked earth.
the smell of baked earth – Actually, most gardeners these days probably just buy sterilized potting soil, but when I was a kid we always used to get soil from the garden during a thaw and bake it in the oven to kill the weed seeds.