The First Warm Evening of Spring

On April’s first warm evening in northeast Kansas,

just one week after two nights of hard freeze

and over four inches of heavy snow

put a half-day’s glow on the budding sheen

of spring’s full green,

We sat on the concrete patio,

facing the sun as it settled into day’s end

behind the silhouettes of the neighbor’s barn

and a thin stand of locust trees lacing the horizon

along the line of a low ridge.

With a long-haired dog of gentle disposition

and dignified posture

politely waiting for some spicy bit,

we spooned bites of warmed-over chili,

sipped dark beer from frozen mugs,

and shared bites of crisp crackers with Layla.

We talked about friends and horses,

pastures and fences,

and the stubborn profligacy of chives

that have thrived in the seams between

the sidewalk and the laid stone edges of the planters,

and the way those little bits of root bulbs

lock them in below the surface,

making pulling them up darn near impossible.

Too much of something

you once wanted

can eventually get on your nerves

and even, maybe, become a bit of a scourge.

It is good to be careful

what sort of things you sow into a shared life

and good to stand in the shadows

in gentle embrace with your wife,

admiring the quiet beauty

of a full moon shining through a tall spruce

on the first warm evening of God’s good spring.

H. Arnett


About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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