Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Spring Comes to Chicago

They are out there. Hiding in the Mayakovsky tree. The door propped open, I'm sitting on the wet and prickly back-door welcome mat. A breeze brushes my cheeks, a violent sash against my dazzling whiskers. Spring is an occasion for the back door propped open and the mangy, virulent squirrel family hiding from me in the bole of the Mayakovsky tree. Spring is an occasion for patience. I stretch myself on the welcome mat. Staring is a practical act. I remember sitting in the sun-room window on Wolcott Avenue, hissing at pizza-delivery drivers buzzing the door. I guarded the fireplace in that old, broken apartment, in case squirrels dropped into the living room. I hissed at the neighbor planting her basil garden. It is spring and I cannot be touched or picked up today. I hear Tony and Shelly in the kitchen, inadequate cats holding coffee cups and prattling, and I wait for the tree to open its chest to me. The Mayakovsky tree complains, "These squirrels are a nail in my boot!" I know. It is spring. I snip at the wind.

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