The steady staple shrew tracks ended in
owl wing hush, a loss
so singular I mourned. Last night, the long
late winter sun
stained the mudflats frozen rose, the clear sky
persimmon. Even the mountains blushed.
Today, fresh snow coats the wind-scoured
corn, a wet blanket
of white felt. In it
our tracks are sloppy. Boot slide
crust punch dog
bisected neatly by a single wolf’s track, an arrow sent
to the mountains. This precision
haunts me, a distraction
in the cyclical sigh of melt and drip.
Even now the trees shake
the dogs emerge
in a spray of snow
and branch, tongues lolling
around delight. Their coats are sticky with death
a half-frozen smear
of joy. Panting, they glow in the long late winter
sun, tails tracing invitations in the air.