Leap-Day Morning

The neighbors asleep with the leaves in their trees standing quietly insensate to cold. The wind’s hips sway and she brushes the bushes and last fall’s remaining grasses.

Creak, down the stairs, walking backwards, toe to heel. Singing that chorus for half an hour, lying in bed without success. A tornado of images and words and sounds screeching and scraping against each other. They crack and shatter and reassemble and fly by unrecognizable.

A day is starting. A night is ending. Neither really started or stopped. Last night I went to bed and felt I had completed one more thirty-thousandth of my life, and that somehow I should be taking better stock of these fractions. The present is distant, and yesterday wanders my memory seeking an open chair.

The middle-school buses growl from one stop sign to the next, and I cover my face with a pillow. The sun goes up across the street. A yellow house bathes in the light, the rest is gray and brown and pale blue.

I would have skipped this day, last year. I’ll not miss it the next. I yearn to see the sky through languid curtains deep green and songbird-filled.

I should value every day. I should be present and grateful. But this Februaric extension I will not applaud.

I never liked the month in the first place.

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