I’ve had a love affair with April since I was a teenager. I know—that sounds scandalous—I’m a married woman. Of course, I’m talking about the month of April…not the person…I don’t know April…but I’m sure she’s lovely. Let me try that again: I’ve been writing love poems to April since my adolescence. Um…yeah…that still sounds…wow. Well, frankly I don’t care. April’s an alluring beauty, and I just want to howl it from the high footpaths she hangs out to dry! Here is my ode to our Colorado April.
April is a trickster. She wages a blizzard upon us while we’re driving, shopping, or doing taxes. Then she cuts off the electricity. Candlelit receipt computations are not romantic. You might also find her luring us to dine on the deck under the guise of warm weather. But just as we take a bite, she snaps her icy fingers and we’re eating sleet in lightning. She delights at our plight.
April is a mother. She gives birth to green and admonishes the March hay grasses for overstaying their welcome. She fills the bellies of her woolen babes before each new trek with the herd. She sings meadowlark melodies and leaf-breeze airs to lull us to day dozes. She launches her skateboard-clad children into the air and catches them on her back. She tucks us in after nightfall with starry Leo guarding overhead.
April has a sense of humor. She’ll tell us she just bought tickets to a concert—front row seats to our favorite band. We’ll shriek in utter ecstasy and yelp, “No way!”
Then she’ll say, “April Fools.”
And we’ll ask, “No front row?”
And she’ll say, “Um…no concert…Good one, huh?”
April is a tease. She is the bringer of hand-in-hand walks, bike rides to highland pubs, and bouncing ball-play on the cul-de-sacs. Then she whispers goodnight too early with her cold breath. Kites pop off their strings. And she doesn’t call us for days because the lines are down from the white wet weight of her rejection. Just when we’ve decided to write her off, she nuzzles our cheeks in sunlight and freckles our shoulders with her kisses.
April is a fever. She’s hot. She’s cold. She’s hot. She’s cold. We wear shorts with parkas, Tee-shirts with mittens, and capris with Sorels. She marvels at fashion innovation (and disasters).
April is a temptress. She’ll show some leg during Algebra 2 and pull young poets away from graphing parabolas. How? Because the air smells like lilac. Because a tan, handsome man in garden gloves is mowing the soccer field. Because Tess is wearing an eyelet dress. ‘Cause Gabe is wearing aftershave.
Consequently, that’s what April did to me. She made me write a poem in math class. I had no choice—it wasn’t logical; it was biological. In honor of this, I resurrected it with all its teen angst and hormonal fits:
She sweats over night
Leaving her beads
Upon a naked bed of grass
Tiny pink feet
Risking a tumble
Skip over the blades
Who decorate two legs
Like tribal adornments
She shouts over the fields
Into the hearts
Clothed by the winter
And bathes them
In pools of harmony
With buds ready to
Into a new face
What a weird window into my sixteen-year-old mind. What are ‘pools of harmony’ exactly? Is it water that makes music—like rubbing the lips of goblets filled with varying heights of liquid to make different tones? Is it music that sounds like raindrop puddles from an 80’s synthesizer sample? No, I’m guessing I incorporated music into the poem as a nod to a musician I was madly in love with, and who, of course, smashed my heart into a million pieces like Hendrix’s guitar. (The musician’s my husband now).
Granted, the poem’s not E.E. Cummings, but it came from the same muse he channeled. One thing’s for certain: the poet loves April. But as the twist at the end suggests, it’s a bittersweet kind of love—April is a flirt; April is a dance; April is a journey; May is the destination. Freud would have had a laugh analyzing the poet.
Clearly, not much has changed about how I feel about April. I’m still romanced by her. I’m still beguiled. I’m still in love.