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Tony Gentry

March Fo(u)rth!

Updated: May 17

For years, I’ve considered this day on the calendar my own New Year’s Resolution reset – March 4th, the answer to the riddle, “What day of the year is a command to go forward?”  And thanks to Google, lo and behold, I just found the Batman comic, which I must have read when I was maybe ten years old, that tucked this riddle away in some corner of my brain where things that could matter to no one else seem to find their lifelong home.  Here it is:

Hooray for Batman and Robin, indeed!

I do recommend this holiday to everyone, but can only speak to its efficacy for me.  After all, the dead of winter is a poor time to launch the self-improvement projects one typically scribbles as New Year’s resolutions while licking Christmas cookie crumbs from one’s fingers.  It’s damp and dark, days are short, you’re attending the funerals of your friends’ parents instead of the weddings of your kids’ pals, and the pounds you gained over the holidays stare back at you in the mirror with plump derision.  So you shrug, say maybe next year, and toss that list of resolutions in the trash.

Or.  Or, you take one more look at them, noticing the daffodils in the yard and the sun setting late enough now to get in a good walk with the dog after work.  Land’s End sends you their bathing suit issue.  And along about then comes March 4th, with its imbedded punning command to step forward.  A-ha!  So, here we go.  On my list this year, I’ve got a slight head start, having just published the collection of poems I’ve been dawdling over for months.  Rather than working through my university’s spring break this year, I’m going to the beach with family, aiming for quality time with sons in their early twenties who teeter at the edge of the nest, but also packing the novel that seems to expand and contract like a bellows with each labored draft.  And this one, the biggie.  Today I hand in my letter of resignation, aiming to leave paid labor at the end of 2020, having never been without a job since fourth grade (often doing two, or holding a full-time gig while attending school).  Gulp.

So yes, I’m serious about this March 4th thing. How about you? Let’s make this a real holiday, one that gets ‘er done. Also, I’m curious, what odd snippets – like that page in a Batman comic read in childhood – do you carry around in that dusty brain corner where such things reside?

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