We decided it was time to laugh
in the face of our collective sickness
and walk downtown for ice cream. But
at the corner of Prince and James we looked
north and saw the gathering clouds, dark, like
recycled nightmares or the villain in a silent movie.
We’re probably going to get wet, I said. We should
probably turn back. But I saw in the eyes of my
children that no amount of common sense
would prevail. I shook my head. I did not want
to get wet.
Still, we walked south, and the wind began to blow
and we fled from block to block, pushed ahead by
advancing clouds. We quickly ordered our ice cream
while old blossoms from earlier in the spring
scuttled by, afraid and out of place.
Finally we turned north, face to the clouds, holding small
bowls of joy. The kids squealed when the rain began
to fall, and we jogged all the way home from Chestnut,
ice cream melting,
rain splattering heavy dots on the cracked sidewalk
Sam going from tree to tree
hiding in the cold shade of April like a butterfly
We came into the house and sighed and stood beside
the warm radiators, eating ice cream, laughing off the
storm. Leo’s face was wet and Abra coughed and we all
grinned. This is the definition
of hope, I think,
this willingness to head out
even when the storm is already on its way
knowing you’ll have to turn into those dark
clouds on your way home.
Don’t let the clouds keep you from heading out.