The porcupine’s tail tends to each track like a fistful of twigs
sweeping the gravel into a braided shape. It looks like a stream, carved among silt and bank
here and there dotted with a claw scrawled print, all of it set clearly in the dust
as if to show any who would dismiss this passage, or deem it invisible
that each body tracking here is home
each print singular, like a ripple or a branch
not a smudge to wipe away, but a life that belongs
to this tender ground.