Spring cleaning

The yard guys who it seemed
went into hibernation all winter
show up promptly on the first
day of spring with their noisy
leaf blowers, their headphones,
their hedge trimmers. They nuke
the weeds in the backyard, cart
away all the dead limbs and
a season’s worth of brittle
gumballs on the ground. As if
influenced by all this activity,
our youngest daughter attacks
all the drawers and closets
in her room, piling outgrown
knick-knacks and clothing
in brown grocery bags: itchy
plaid shirts that no longer
button easily across the chest,
graphic tees and sweatshirts
she describes as being from
those “emo 7th grade days.”
And I, inspired now too
by the desire to make things
clean and airy, drag the grey
area rug to the deck and hose
it down with soap and water.
While I pick bits of hair
(all our shedding) off the pile,
I notice the falling-down shed
and its worn wood surface,
the dull greenish hue creeping
across the fence… Touch one thing
and it leads to another: soon the seeds
flower and the bud swirls to leaf;
blackbirds come to raid
the reddening fruit, and you
stand blinking in the sunshine,
trying to recall everything you told
yourself you were going to do next.

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