The rapid ratcheting seems everywhere above me, lacing the treetops into a single wordless voice. Along the lakeshore path where I run, the dog-day cicadas in the high branches pulse like the sputtering sprinklers on the lawns back home. I like this dirt road because it’s easy on my knees, because I’m far from the voices that would untie me from myself and have me follow. I like these trees that shade me, they seem well-knit with all the things around them— the moss, the ants, birds I can and cannot name, the pebbles that stick in my shoes. Maybe the cicadas look with pleasure, as I do, up into the green, sunlit leaves. Maybe their calling begins in the blood that is always threading through their beautiful bodies.
Copyright 2005 by Brian Dean Powers
Published in the 2007 Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar