The bright blue bottle hit me like a hint of death
on the breath of Spring.
I imagined it being tossed out a truck window
by underage teens fancying themselves clever
and mature and immortal
as if the earth had willed upon them
that her stolen treasure, Aluminum,
be returned or she’d cause their truck keys
disappear for all eternity.
I picked up the blue bottle
tried to feel resurrection
in a recycling sort of way
felt instead only the hollow emptiness
of mindless eternal reincarnation.
Winter had been long this year and lately
I fantasized resurrection more than usual
at a field where I stopped to listen to meadowlark and field sparrow calling for mates or alerting everyone to the sin of the blue bottle.
Several deer grazed the unseen first greens of Spring near skunk cabbage and coltsfoot.
At a small stream, I cupped my hand into the icy fast water and raised it to my lips, then splashed my face, then splashed some more, more,
then knelt, both knees at the streambed and submersed my face and head,
in self-inflicted baptism
for my own blue bottle sins,
opened my eyes, exhaled all my blue bubbles, for the longest of repentant moments,
pulled out of the water
gasping the holy Spring air
for dear life
and thereafter walked each step
in the garden of resurrection.
> As published in The Watershed Journal.
> As published in Dark Horse Appalachia
> Winner Editor's Choice Award, North/South Literary Canon