Thaw Day



I decided that

My small boy and I should

Emerge from our dusty house.

It was a February thaw,

Not to be missed.

Standing in the back hallway,

Underneath all the

Swishy, clompy gear,

My small boy was dismayed at the prospect of

Going outside.

“It’s cold out,” he pleaded,

His dad-shaped gray eyes bright between the

Woolen ear flaps of his stocking cap.

“You’re going to be surprised at how

Warm it is,” I said,

Literally pushing him

Out the door.

And so we ventured out into a

Sunny, drippy, melty day.

We drove to a small city lake

Got the last spot in the parking lot

And set off on a

Thaw Day walk,

Our gloves in our pockets,

Our rubber-soled boots withstanding the

Deep, cold, brackish puddles.

The questions the started coming at a regular clip:

“What are dogs made of?”

“Skin, bones, muscles, blood, organs.”

“What are organs?”

“What are organs …

It’s like your heart, your stomach, your brain.

Parts of your body that have a specific job to do.”

“We have organs?”

“Yep, we have all the same organs as dogs,

I think.”

“Is that dog cute?”

“I think so. What do you think?”

“I think so, too.

Why is that man singing?”

“He’s just happy to be outside.

He likes to sing.”

“He looks like Marvin [his school bus driver].”

“Yeah, he does look like Marvin.”

“But he’s not Marvin?”

“No, he’s not.”

And so on.

The small warm hand was

Tucked into my palm,

And I gave it a small squeeze

With my fingers.

“Remember this moment,”

I said to myself as I

Drew the warming thaw breeze

Into my lungs-organ.