Poem to February

Awhile back I swore I was going to try harder
to love more. It’s going poorly.
I hate February because it’s the month
my daughter almost died in as a toddler.
What doctors thought was a stomach bug
was a rare strep germ abscessing
in her belly. It’s the month a dear friend
really did die in from another rare kind
of strep on her skin. I hate missing her.
I hate cattle ranchers when I read
they are feeding their cows red Skittles
instead of corn. Though some scientists claim
candy is just as nutritious, it’s hard to believe
that’s wholesome. I know I should stop eating meat,
but occasional hamburgers make me so happy!
Things are so rarely what you imagine.
I thought when I was pregnant I would live
on organic fruit and radiant joy,
but I was nauseous and miserable.
My daily McDonald’s sausage biscuit
smeared with grape jelly got me through it.
Right now if we’re not hating our neighbors
for wearing their pink pussy hats,
we’re hating them for hating us for wearing them.
Yesterday I thought I saw a man in a ragged coat
helping a man in a wheelchair cross Colfax,
but when I got closer I could hear him yelling,
angry that the wheelchair wasn’t faster.
Meanwhile the cars whizzed past without slowing.
I know the people in the cars are real people,
many of them kind, with problems of their own,
but it’s so easy to hate them when I can’t see them.
I should love them for their invisible struggles.
February, I should love you for what you’ve left me,
which is almost everything, and I’m trying to.

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