It snowed last Thursday when we had to go to Bill’s pre-op clinic, and it is snowing again today. In between it has been unusually cold. We are waiting for a date for Bill’s bronchoscopy. At my age I shouldn’t be wishing my life away, but it is hard not to wish the weather would be better and that the bronchoscopy would be over. On the weekend I wished time would slow down because our two sons and their families surprised us with a visit. Fishing season opens on Monday. A friend tells us that this is the first year he can remember when he won’t be able to find a piece of ground where he can dig for worms. I remember the day my mother was buried, April 2, I think it was. A small group of us was standing in the Strawberry Hill cemetery. It was cold, dark, but the birds were singing. The metaphor was apt: a gloomy day, yet with a hint of hope. This late winter is an apt metaphor too; summer will come, it always does, but it is difficult to imagine the experience.
Friends of ours are driving to Moncton today to keep an important doctor’s appointment. Schools everywhere are closed. It is an hour and a half drive. There is a stretch of the highway of perhaps 30 miles where there is no habitation, no exits. What a terrible decision to make: go or not go. Some birds have returned from the south, but they are nowhere in evidence today. On the weekend we saw robins and a cardinal. The grackles are back.
I have just spent some time looking for Bill’s poem about grackles. I haven’t read his poems for a while. They were brought back to me. Every once in a while someone will begin to recite their favorite poem from Bill’s books – the Tantrum Poem, or Everett Coogler, or Unsnarling String. A recent e-mail ended, “Let Bill know that I have been unsnarling a lot of string in the past three months.” I couldn’t find the grackle poem.