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.