Late-Winter Lament

Late-Winter Lament

Oh how I long for the Florida Keys,
With palm trees swaying in the warm gulf breeze.
I’d love to sail on Jamaica Bay
And bask in the sun at the end of the day.

But here I am stuck in Ohio in March;
Winter, for me, has lost all its starch.
I’d love to ski on water, not snow,
When it’s eighty above, not fifteen below.

I’d love to sink my bare feet in the sand
And wade in the waves on the edge of the land.
But when I go out, I put on thick shoes
And slop in the slush, a mucky brown ooze.

I’m sick of the cold, of ice on my beard;
I’m tired of cold fingers, cold toes and red ears.
I’m fed up with gray clouds and fields of brown,
Of wearing wool thermals and coats filled with down.

So I shiver and dream of the Lesser Antilles,
Where the air and the water don’t ever get chilly.
I’m mind-sailing on the Caribbean Sea
And snorkeling off of Plantation Key.

Yes, how I long for the tropical islands,
Where the water is warm and the sun’s always smilin’,
Where the pineapples grow and the forest is lush,
And I’m not inundated by late-winter slush.

John Whitacre
March 20, 1992

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