Coming Home in a Haibun
Sixteen miles south on Highway 87 the road turns a sharp corner east.
And the first head-on view of the blue green purple Bear's Paw range
grabs me. Right in the solar plexus.
Bright sun on mountains
Cotton ball clouds dance colors
over the prairie
Then the small death. The ascension of a year's worth of city.
A bear hug that squeezes every tight muscle, nerve and tendon
until they loosen into a pulled-pork state.
bound away in ballet leaps
Wheat and wild grasses
I open the car door at the cabin and walk into stillness. Not even the
cottonwood leaves quiver. Light has become a tarnished film.
Meadowlarks and crickets occupy the airwaves in fast forward tempo.
Gun metal gray sky
Ants crawl underground to homes
with soil high entries
Horses roll vowels from deep within their bellies. We all know
what's coming. I grab a can of cat food from a grocery sack. Head
for the barn my father built, to interfere with survival of fittest laws.
A thick dark curtain
drops in front of the Bear Paws
Distant drum rumble
I sit on the porch swing by ponderosa pine cones budded
in pink nipples. Watch the swell of lilac blooms in smells and shades
of childhood. Breathe in the aged cedar of the cabin.
A soft rippled song
from the cottonwood branches
Muted wind whistle
Blue spruce boughs rise and fall in patterns like pedals on an organ.
The sky explodes in a white wrath. I offer a prayer. Wait for the fallout.
For the cleansing. The renewal.