Lee Todd Lacks
Published on: 9/8/2015
Spring arrived home very late.
She was lingering with March.
Nature met her at the gate,
beneath the vernal arch.
"Where have you been?!" her mother asked.
"I've been sick with worry!
April will be coming soon,
and I told you to hurry!"
"Look at you, you naughty girl!
Your hair's a tangled mess.
Did you let that sinful wind
blow underneath your dress?!?!"
"Oh, Mother, please. Don't be upset.
I know I'm very late.
but March, he made me shiver,
and I forgot about the date."
"Young lady!" Mother Nature fumed.
"I think I've heard enough!
Now, go fetch me a proper switch!"
Spring stormed off in a huff.
To a deep and ancient forest
where the gloomy girl did search
for a certain sapling tree among
a grove of silver birch.
"Oh, gentle tree," the princess moaned,
her voice fraught with despair,
"my mother seeks a supple branch,
for she has none to spare."
"Of course, fair Spring," the sapling said,
"though I find it rather odd
that Nature's full grown daughter
needs a proper birching rod."
Spring thanked the tree, and left the grove
she kept with her Aunt Autumn.
She had found the switch with which
her Mum would tend her bottom.
The rueful girl returned to where
her mother had been waiting.
Her punishment would be severe,
there could be no debating.
Spring's mother said, "How long it's been
since I last brought you here.
But you will never be too old
to get the switch, I fear."
Spring nodded as she lifted
up her dress high in the air.
Then, she let her snowy blossoms fall,
and laid her bottom bare.
As she lay across a mossy stump,
her knees began to shake.
Soon, Spring felt the awful sting
and the unrelenting ache.
Like the sound of countless mourning doves,
so fervent were her cries that
her tears fell down in sheets of rain,
cascading from her eyes.
Spring wept all through April till
the Earth was soaking wet;
though she pleaded for forgiveness,
her mother wasn't finished yet.
Spring's mother switched her bottom
till it was glowing from the heat.
Then, she cast aside the birching branch,
and helped her to her feet.
She held her chastened daughter, and
caressed her tender cheek.
Hours passed till Mother Nature
had the will to speak.
"I love you so, dear daughter, and
it grieves me to cause you pain,
but I'll put you back across this stump
if you cross me again."
"Yes, Ma'am." Spring whispered softly,
there was nothing left to say.
Blushing at either end, she sighed,
"'Twill be the warmest May!"
Published on: 9/3/2015
Every city has houses so full of
past lives, the bricks can hardly
hold them. Joys deep in the
woodwork, too easily forgotten,
in beams behind walls, forever
hidden and bearing, sorrows
beneath centuries of plaster
and paint. Words stuck in
time-warped panes of glass,
wishing in vain to be unsaid.
Generations of laundered
underthings, sacred vows in
scented drawers, kept,
but never spoken.
Published on: 9/1/2015
Ten past eight, and on probation,
April races down the corridor.
Betrayed by chattering heels,
she forms another rationale,
while smells of tile and
well-worn wood tell her this
staid building stood when
leaden rules read like bricks.
Spirits of austere factory girls
shame her for being late again,
brushing past their legacy
in lengthy, woolen skirts,
leaving April longing to be
bending at the waist till her
rationales dissolve into a
sore and searing grace.