Because it is Spring in Appalachia by Bonnie Proudfoot

Because it is Spring in Appalachia

and the rain has stopped pummeling
the solar panels on my roof,
I begin noticing things,
the rush of green outside hits me
like a fanfare, the sun
sparkles in every droplet,
and then I realize
the applause I thought I heard
was not applause at all,
it was a pair of small birds
pecking away at the inside
of my walls because they decided
that their new nesting place
could be that little hole
in the space between the eaves.
And there it is, the outside world
has come home to roost. And me,
I couldn’t pull the trigger of the 22
on the groundhog in the blueberries,
I try to save the planet,
not just for me, alone, but so I
can share it, but not my house,
I think, yet that is
what is happening now
and here I am,
still hoping to return
to Aaron Copeland in my mind,
but the wide world has other ideas,
like a new station on the dial,
these little syncopated taps,
call on me to act or be acted upon,
and isn’t that what I secretly wanted
from this ragged, unfinished life?

*

Bonnie Proudfoot has had fiction and poetry published in the Gettysburg Review, Kestrel, Quarter After Eight, the New Ohio Review, and many other journals. Her first novel, Goshen Road, published by Ohio University’s Swallow Press (2020) was selected by the Women’s National Book Association for one of its Great Group Reads for 2020. It was Long-listed for the 2021 PEN/ Hemingway Award for debut fiction, and in 2022 it won the WCONA Book of the Year Award. Her poetry chapbook, Household Gods, is forthcoming on Sheila-Na-Gig this summer. She lives in Athens, Ohio, and in her spare time she creates glass art and plays blues harmonica.