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January Crickets

The year winter decided to play
in the sundresses from spring’s closet,
we left the windows open
to enjoy the breath of January azaleas
blooming in the flower beds.

A cricket snuck into your craft room,
and sang to us for hours,
somewhere under the stacks
of colored paper, under the bottles
of orange paint, the bits of curled wire,
the forest of projects you grew
behind a decorated door.

We searched for it for hours,
until my hands were glittered
and red yarn tangled your hair;
we even let the old mother cat
try to flush it from its artsy haven,
until her white fur was chalked
to pink and blue cotton candy,
and the cricket chirped at us.

That night, I curled beside you,
my hand on your breast and
your breath in my ear,
awake with a winter spring song:
cricket song, white azaleas asleep,
you asleep, a last jewel of glitter
bright on your breast beside my hand,
thinking I might let more crickets
sneak into the walls of our house.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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