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.

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