maundy thursday

we’ve had a cold snap again
frost nipping the eager blooms
of the japanese magnolias
and kissing the bricks
that weight the blanket
stretched over the half-moon bed
of drowsing flowers
but spring’s running mad in my veins
and i refuse to give in
to the last blast of winter

so i’ve worn the same
slouchy socks three days
in a row, too stubborn
to pull the warmer ones
out of storage, yet too aware
of bluing toes to forgo
them altogether

i wanted to get my feet washed
by the priest tonight, but i
only a vacation anglican
didn’t feel right about taking
someone else’s place at the rail
and deadline held me in my chair
for another year

i wonder what would have happened
if i had come, eyes tired
clothes rumpled, hair beethoven wild
clammy, cold feet liberally linted —
would the white-robed priest
have taken one look at me and thought
daughter, after the altar’s stripped
go home and wash yourself
from head to hand
to toe?