Waking breath ghostly frozen, clang of ***-belly stove opening, cedar crackles good morning, sap sizzles, pops, melting. Warmth finds children sleeping, humid air, mouth-breathing. Smell of boy sweat and feet, young women ripely sweet.
Cats purring, stirring, padding quiet down stairs, weave meowing through mom's legs. Dented percolator burbles better days, snap of toast burned haze, molten mush bubbles burst, fade. Birds early on the highway Paradise-seeking, time, flash-burned, fleeting. Cobalt jay mockingly complains, chickadee sings his own name, coyote wails, thin and plain.
Children rise, sleep in their eyes, squabble over bathroom prize, eldest wins, click, locks herself in. Hurry, hurry the bus is coming, ancient driver, annoyed and honking. Brown-bag lunches crinkled running, feet slapping, seats squeaking, lungs hot and bursting. Ride the dawn breaking, hearts aching for more than this, rural bliss.
Stop sign flashes caution, young lovers in the back seat, bodies in motion. Stop, start, sway on down the highway. Engine mimics hot blood lust, accelerated diesel rush, nothing can stop us. You grab my knee - young, carefree. Brakes sigh and hiss, sneak one last kiss. You mouth - meet me later, we'll sneak out, rush to a future we haven't got, ready or not.
The old road at dusk, frog song accompanies us, bike wheels on the asphalt hum, forbidden moonlight run. Feel your heartbeat on my spine, frantic drumming matching mine. Horned owl hoots, forlorn and bleak, a premonition we refuse to heed, reckless with need. In the clearing young love begins, forget-me-knots on burning skin.