There’s nothing like spring’s first bright dose of sunlight
pouring onto pale, deprived skin
to make a kid feel beautiful.
I couldn’t help but watch the outline of my hair
dance to draw shadows on the sidewalk.

That’s the most telling sign of spring;
when the sun shines strongly enough
to make the cast shadows
more crisp than the leaves
leftover from fall.

But maybe roughing the cold weather is best for us;
if we didn’t have to face the winter
and our own demons
we wouldn’t sprout in the spring with our wings spread,
ready to conquer the things we don’t know yet.

My best friend told me she wants her life to be a constant warm bath
but I thought eventually, she would just turn into a big raisiny-prune
and her fingernails would float away
and she would freak out and move to the desert.

The winter gives us a reason to barf rainbows in the spring
and keeps us from shriveling up.
It gives us something to despise besides each other.