While the Cailleach sleeps, gather kindling. Not to feed
winter’s hunger but to know
with each twig snap and lichen rise
the chickadee dreams
in squirrel branch sways and hemlock eyes. Nearby
the nuthatch tides, sounding the sweet reed
of its body: Wait.
here, among the hare tracks and lynx trees
beneath the blue deeps
that crown the mountain. There is much
to greet now
as the wind hoots in feathered spells
ruffled by raven wings and cross-clipped cones.
Here rests a perch for each bird
as flames leap for every cauldron
carried, like a torch, for the spring.
Wait here, a little longer
under the generous spruce, near the blackened willow,
where the snow sings of light.