December thirteenth. North Carolina. I hear a tree frog click. Fire crack.
The same dog over and over. A layered silhouette of trees against tees
misled me into thinking I can glimpse the shape of the gully in front of me.
Hard wooded. Known to house turkeys. One fat cornfed squirrel.
I blame the calendar for most problems.
They make it too easy to wait.
The calendar always made me late.
Mark one a holy day.
People sacrifice hundreds of others preparing for it.
Marking them off as they get in their way.
With seasons, on the other hand, we are ahead of the game.
Like tonight. It isn’t even winter yet. And already, it’s spring.
Hot. Wet. Uncomfortable.
Almost to the point of painful.
Acclimating to warmth after a long bout of cold.
Spent an entire season shivering in the morning.
Apprehensive about getting out of bed.
A cold clouding a clogged cluttered head.
Skin washed thin in steaming sweat.
Light and clinging.
Consistently raining beaded on brows just beneath hair.
Consider cutting it off. All of it.
Hung over ears. Down neck.
Brunette lawns curled overgrowing cheeks.
Buried chin and mouth.
Leaping laurel to laurel.
Ethics cultivating morals.
Lifestyles range over miles.
Aristocracy. Agricultural superlative. Slavery.
There is outright truth and then word of mouth.
Like hot and cold. Good and bad. Right and wrong.
Each thing and its opposite,
alive in the south.