Go ahead—it’s the one day in four years
when we can, the extra day tacked on
to February when seemingly impossible
things are possible: when ladies can propose
to gentlemen, when any man who refuses her
must buy her a dozen pairs of gloves so
the spurned maiden can hide the embarrassing
lack of a wedding ring—or enough fabric
to make a skirt. Just like St. Patrick refusing
St. Brigid’s proposal, offering her a silk dress
and a kiss of consolation.
It’s the day in 1940 when Hattie McDaniel won
her Oscar for her performance in “Gone With the Wind.”
The day we could, if we were in France, read
a newspaper published only once every four years.
The day the founder of U-Haul was born,
a man who has moved millions—literally.
The only day we could possibly down a
Leap Year martini at the Savoy Hotel in London.
Though the Scots think it unlucky to be born
on this largely invisible day, in Anthony, Texas,
Leaplings born on Feb. 29 gather to celebrate.
As do the northern Italians, who commemorate
l’ann d’la baleina, the whale’s year, when
the behemoths were thought to give birth.
In Taiwan, grown daughters return home with
pig trotter noodles to ensure their parents’
good health and fortune.
Let’s take a running leap into the next four years,
holding hands as we thank the previous ones
for delivering us to this place of grace and good
fortune, as we jump into the next adventure
of this lucky, lovely lifetime together.