The seventeen-year cicadas punched out in May and throttled through June. On porch evenings, sitting with my Apollos, we discerned three calls. One with four distinct parts, one with two crescendos, and a third went skeedle-dee-boppity-doobop-deedleeeeee. I couldn’t decode cricket, noise looping excitedly all around in the night, in the trees: labor pains. What are they saying, Apollos?
He said, it is like Dr. Seuss Go Dog Go, where you think it’s about hats, but it’s one big huge dog party up in the trees.
I said, Mother Nature has been dogging me all day, while I was thinking about what shirt to wear, she was keeping up pressure on the gas pedal and messing with the governor. Driving me to that big dog party.
He said, I don’t know how to say their sound. I hear, yet see the circus acrobat, pretty lady, who can hula-hoop fifty silver rings at a time. Sometimes they are all rotating excitedly out of rhythm, and then, in a moment of fluid clarity, all the hoops shimmer as one serpentine tube. That’s the sound.
I said, yes. That is the sound. It rolls.
And today is the day, in a serpentine swirl and some huffy dog language I am going to. I am going to. Growl and say Gnnnnnhhhhhh.
A girl will crawl out of the mud of me, and she will roll and skritch in my cochlea. It is past midnight, and we are on the sleeping porch, go bag and car keys. Knowing, the hospital is 9 miles, 8 potholes, 7 lights, 6 turns, and can do can do Mother Nature is shifting my gear box: its shimmering patterns of serpentine flesh have a will have a will have a throttle.
Notes from Guest Reader Kathy Fish
This story simply clobbered me. Weighing in at 290 words, it is bursting with language and sound, tenderness and beauty.