Sounds — By Ramona Vreeland McCallum

This morning I sit

on the edge of the bed.

The calm black lab Lucy

asleep beside me,

dregs of my first

cup of coffee

on the bedside table

among containers

of lotion, lip balm,

melatonin

 

and out the window,

sounds:

 

The hospital a block away

groans with grinding machinery.

What are they burning now

or cleaning? How much longer?

It’s already been

forever…

 

But that’s not

what I want

you to hear.

 

Focus

on the tree

in the backyard, taller

than the house.

It’s spring and the tree’s

all dressed up

in new leaves,

so we can’t see the birds

in there among the branches.

 

Though we can hear their chirps resound

between us and the incessant, mechanical roar—

like strokes of color

on gray canvas full

of clouds.

 

Let’s get up

continue the day,

blending our way

among these sounds.

~ Ramona Vreeland McCallum

Ramona Vreeland McCallum is the author of a collection of poetry entitled Still Life with Dirty Dishes (Woodley Press, 2013). She earned her MFA from UMKC in 2017 and her Master of Arts in Teaching from KSU in 2018. She lives in Garden City, Kansas where she teaches 5th grade English Language Arts and co-parents six children with her husband, Brian McCallum. For June’s poems, Ramona selected work whose avian and weather imagery convey metaphoric and dichotomous themes of restlessness & peace, anxiety & security, and which communicate the power of presence when reflecting on the past and looking toward the future.

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