Beautiful allergens thrust spring upon us;
hormones surge, breaking their hibernation
to excite the senses and cloud the judgment.
Myriad small joys sprout among
the stones of our psychic fortresses,
like grass blades and wildflowers
in the cracks of a sidewalk, and
April showers linger toward June.
But spring is not a gentle season
on the southern Plains, where
Mother Nature is a bitch in heat,
voracious in her appetites, vengeful
ex in her relationship with us;
we fear her with just cause.
No bookkeeper can account
for the payments that she demands,
no attorney convince her to settle.
Her funneled forces of destruction
have come as long as
humans have lived and died here,
but this century’s continual electronic replays
bombard our eyes and ears
until we either sink into depression
or drift off into numbness.
Our minds process the enormity of destruction,
but we cannot, eyes glued to screens,
imagine what to feel until
we see the elderly woman
reunited with her dog, and then
our hearts connect with her particular emotion,
beyond words, but in communion
with the collective human soul.
Universal in that particularity:
In a landscape of despair,
the wagging tail of hope.
T. Allen Culpepper