three dollars (and a quarter)

by phillip gillis

I walked up to the counter
and bought a bit of springtime
for three dollars
(and a quarter).

Earnest money.

It was a year ago when spring was spring
summer was summery
fall was yet to fall.
winter before we winter’d.

The season in front of us.
now behind us.
still around us.
and in front of us again.
with hope sprinkled in a garden
because we all know flowers
(and children)
grow faster in the spring.

The world moved differently
(if “moved” is the word)
or should I say the world moved defiantly
(maybe “defiant-ly” is definitely the word?)
because barely at first
like a ball at the crest of a hill-
anticipating the other side
when the pace picks up,
and
down
it
goes!

***

First day of spring again and i again stand at the counter
asking for a reimbursement on last spring...
and summer...
and fall...
and winter...
and-

“No. Sorry. No refunds.”

I explain it was lost.
the cashier looks over the top of his glasses.
no response.
not what we expected.
a glare.
it was...tough.

“So is life.”

And yet spring is here- again.
like a friend and a promise
(because all we have is a promise)
of a new spring.
one no longer taken for granted.

breathe in the world.

breathe out the world.

Phillip Gillis is a teacher, writer, wanderer, semi-retired professional wrestler, and father of two beautiful children. He is also a proud native of Allensville, NC and grew up in a hardware store, C&G Supply Center.

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