I know you’re coming

because of late

handfuls of wholesome Catholics

appeared in crowds with ashes

slurred upon their brows.

Rains have washed

the streets slick,

crowding into corners

the gray forgotten snows

as aching soil blinks, exposed.

Surely the heat

of your approach

causes these warm February days

and the breeze that tickles

curt up the back of my skirt.

We wait for you,

the crocuses and I

to press through to an open sky

and, from a reaching tender stem,

to breathe, unfold, and bloom again.