Spring Will Come Momcat.
Updated: May 6
Spring is on its way. I feel sure of that, because it always comes. It must, because that’s what it does. I never really thought about spring, until I came to Wisconsin.
My first winter in Wisconsin freaked me out. I remember it snowed in October and didn’t melt until May that year. I had only experienced winter as a minor three-month cold snap, so to say I was uninitiated was no exaggeration. But I got hip pretty quickly. I bought all the necessary clothing and hunkered down.
I tried to enjoy winter hiking and such, but the first time the skin on my face cracked, I stopped walking the trails in the snow. Now I only go outside to go from one controlled environment to the other, house to car to house etc.
All my friends say I should learn to love the out-of-doors in winter, but I don’t like being outside in warm weather so why should I learn to do so in sub-zero temps? I have spent most of my life figuring out how to not be exposed to the elements.
No snow shoeing for me thank you very much. I wish you the best of luck in your sports and winter activities as I while away the hours in sweet repose in my warm cocoon, singing my songs, reading poetry and sleeping.
When I was a kid, we were often deep in the throes of poverty. I often missed school for lack of proper winter gear and shoes, and my siblings and I were forced to huddle all five in a bed for warmth.
These times are part of my history, part of the reason for any strength or courage I have, and a large part of who I have become spiritually and creatively. I cherish those times and embrace them as such.
Here’s a poem I wrote many years ago called ‘Spring Will Come Momcat”. This is not a poem of sadness or a time I’m bitter about. It’s meant to be a poem of courage and optimism. I hope you’ll read it that way.
Spring Will Come, Momcat
Small clouds of breath times five. My nose so cold I can’t feel it running. Little bony knees and elbows poking, hoping we can stand the crushing boredom for a few more hours. I’m the eldest. It’s my job to tell stories.
We’re packed like sardines in one bed trying to keep warm. We survive; we have hope; this is America. I haven’t been to school in a week. Someone comes knocking.
We hold our breath; they’ll go away. Spring will come. I’ll catch up; It’ll be okay; Spring will come. When she comes, Mom brings us penny candy in lieu of supper.
She’s like a cat with her hidden brood born out of season. Understand, it’s only instinct that brings her back. It’s beyond love. It’s pure proclivity.
Shame is her intimate, and with tender affection, it engulfs her. Baby reaches dimpled arms with the power to persuade. Momcat, smiling says, “Spring will come.”