April Spring will not be forced in southwestern Wyoming. The ground is thawing, but the wind keeps life low to the ground, in a crouch. I lie on the couch, waiting. The dogs take turns pushing me aside, like mounds of heaving earth that crowd a sapling.
Snow fell this morning; sloppy end of the winter snow, full and wet. Pots of flowers crowd the floors in the house, in the kitchen, and on the porch, refugees from unwelcome stubborn winter. April is cold, the early garden tries and fails; tries again each day that the sun grows stronger, higher, brighter, but the green invasion becomes stalled an inch above earth; it freezes.
I look out the kitchen window for the umpteenth time today, but the yard is gray and cold. A big pan covers seedlings from last year’s poppies, which sprouted weeks ago, bravely and too early. Living things cannot be fooled into growing by false suns burning in the mind; poor fool that I am. I look out the front window onto the wind-flailed porch chairs and wind bells, and then pick up an empty cup to put into the sink, next to a clay pot, which holds a plant that refuses to live or die.
The fridge door swings open; no suns in there, no blue heaven to grab my eyes, to lead me into tan hills covered in silver brush; onto yellow rock pulverized by the weight of sunlight; by cold night, the air hot-cold, hot cold. It’s the tempo of this place.
I pace the kitchen floor as if it is the deck of a not-too sturdy ship, the night cold and flowing in on me as if I am the shore; waves of cold lap-lapping the floor.
I love it when the wind turns the town over like a master cook stirs a stale pot: cold wind, twenty years of it, coming at us from around the world. Some days the force turns like a great wheel coming at us from the east, banging wind chimes like pale rock bells, on the porch, under the eaves, the house a small wooden ship upon a sand sea; a ship in the desert is my home in the wind.