Early Signs by Lori Kean

The road ban notices went up sometime last
week, forcing the low howl of 18 wheels down
my way. And after them will come the gravel
trucks, back and forth, back and forth; always
another load, another job, all summer long.
But for now it’s just the drone of 18 wheels slowly
shifting their bulk around the cuts and curves of
my conscience, and the occasional brave Harley
chopping my thoughts into miles of disjointed
recollection and broken lines of random loss.
They echo back at me.

Just last night, while tapping out another
chunk of my soul into this blue limned glass,
a lone and no doubt lonely Peeper croaked
it’s awakening from the marshy underlife across
the road. I heard it through my thrust open
window; it floated in like the ghost of regret.
The thing about Peepers is that in heat they
vibrate a rhythmic chorus, a frantic melody to
galvanize the appetite for communion; a dancing
campfire, a naked body laying spread out on a blanket
inviting the night sky to wish upon her heavenly
body, her falling star. But that first peep, that lone
signal of survival from the oppressive white blanket
months thick is haunting and haggard. Forlorn.
It startles me away from myself.

The Bluebirds are back. I saw them investigating my
offerings of shelter under strict guidelines and wary
observation, and this weekend marks another occasion
in the rotation of my life – the leaping forward of time;
the invitation from hibernation, my chaperon to Spring.
Oh how I long to plunge my hands down into it!
To shove it up under my fingernails, grind it into my
pores, this thing called rebirth – this new beginning,
this rich smell of redemption.
This earth.

How I long to leave you behind in the winter of my mind.