End of Winter

One cold night in February

with snow from last week’s storm

still piled up against the door,

a old friend phoned and asked,

“How are you?”

To our surprise, I said,

”I feel like a wooden chest

made in Prague or Warsaw

too many years ago to mention,

painted yellow, like the sun,

but faded after miles and years

of bruises, dents and scuffs.

“A chest discovered in a thrift store

in West L.A. by two friends,

one brunette, the other blonde,

who took it home and set it in

a sunny corner near the door

so it would be the first thing seen

by all who came to visit.

“On its top, they put a green glass lamp

and three glass bowls, with

slender shoots of young bamboo–

all light, all green, all bright

all Spring.”

© 2004 J.M. Keating

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