Full Circle

by Michael Gillan Maxwell

Full Circle

I could lie here all day 
under this pile of warm blankets, listening 
to the sounds of wind sighing through treetops
dogs snoring gently as they snuffle in their sleep
the buzz and click of the electric baseboard heater
the low throated rumble of a northbound freight 
clanking as it trundles up the tracks
hauling coal to the power plant 
the steel snowplow scraping the road 
encrusted with snow and ice and salt and sand. 

I could lie here all day 
remembering how I wrapped your tiny body 
in a black burial bag and locked that in the plastic box 
snow swirled all around me as I carried it
to a place behind the stone wall
next to the wood pile
under an upside down wheel barrow 
I staggered away in the storm
tears frozen to my cheeks.

There you will stay 
under the pyramid of Winter
until Spring comes and the ground thaws
when peepers emerge from frozen mud 
to sing their ecstatic song
I'll dig a hole and bury you in the pet cemetery 
near the others in front of the pond 
on the hill overlooking the lake.
It's there you were born, feral, and so 
you have come full circle. 

I could lie here all day 
head under covers, daydreaming and staring into space 
feeling my toenails grow long, envisioning
the bowl of oranges on the kitchen table
Rip Van Winkle awakening from his nap 
amongst the sylphs and wood nymphs 
thunder crashing as angels and ghosts 
roll nine pins in the clouds
pondering the past and trying 
to peer into the future.