This poem came out of the February 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by laffingkat.
The earth squeezes the bears out of their caves
like a mother giving birth. They blink,
bleary in the pale spring sunlight,
already hungry though there is little to eat
so early in the year. Long claws
rip open rotten logs and
pink tongues scoop up the grubs,
leaving behind a little raised garden
just waiting for seeds to land.
The sky wrings itself out,
shedding rain from clouds
and birds from their long migrations.
Wings swoop and wheel in midair,
a courtship of color and grace
bursting forth into song.
They are driven to fly their hearts out,
to carol the forest full of plaintive notes,
to take twig in beak and weave nests
to hold the fragile, sky-blue eggs.
The river runs down the mountains,
white with snowmelt and spring rains.
It carries the flavor of the season
out into the ocean where the salmon suddenly
remember the distant creeks of their youth
and turn shoreward, seeking
that unique, elusive taste.
Land and sky and water
writhe their way back to life
after the long winter,
drawing the animals outward and upward,
into and through each other,
a dance trembling with delight
for all that is yet to become.