Spring at Last in the Middle Atlas Mountains

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Students are playing chase, as are the squirrels, the campus cats, and spring-drunk dragonflies. After our five-month winter, we hear girls shrieking from courtyards, classrooms, dorms, their cries piercing the silences of snow and COVID. When young, we should live and love like gods, penned the poet laureate of spring, Ovid. One girl says, “He’ll do for my second boyfriend.”

At 56, I sit by a drained fountain, invisible to the horny innocent, a ghost, though I’m their teacher, advisor, mentor. Everything in me now is broken, bent. I’m like the seasonless cedars of this mountain, roots flexing underground, even in winter.