Local Lit

Next Door, Spring

Bruce Taylor |

The kid’s two this year     
and in a neonpink snow parka
for although it is April
it’s April in Wisconsin.

Her snow pants are maroon
and large enough for three
so she squats when she sits,
it would be too easy to say,
like some surprising flower
amongst the drying piles
of last November’s leaves.

But her grandmother does
plant her in the saffroned lawn,
and go inside a moment.
Someone is always watching here
from a stoop next door or through
a window from across the alley.

And when she comes back,
pointing at a robin shivering
on a frozen clothesline,
and when she says “Spring,”
to the child blooming before her,
she’s right of course.

Even in here, behind the grimy
stormwindows, even the inside plants
hunched in corners and clinging to
their few handfuls of dirt,
stir as if remembering.

Bruce Taylor is the current Poet Laureate of Eau Claire, Wis. "Next Door, Spring" is reprinted from The Longest You’ve Lived Anywhere, which you can find here. Read more about Bruce here.