Snowshoeing through lumbered hills
I detect a fresh terror
in deer tracks that stumble through drifts
and leap and land splay-footed
on modest slopes where cut boughs rot
under two feet of cover.
I slip-shoe down to the Mill Brook
and trudge along its frozen surface
to explore the beaver pond built
last summer. The lodge, a mass
of snow as tall as me, resists
imaginings evinced by fox-tracks
all over the dome. The beavers,
for the winter, recalling the roar
of chainsaws that competed
with their own tree-felling skills.
Come spring they'll find the pond
where they left it, fox and snowshoe
tracks erased, surviving pines
garnishing indifferent sky.
The sky lacks indifference today,
however. Snow-showers whisper
into the void, and the light fails
early. Tramping home in the dusk
I feel the distance attenuate
while my snowshoe-tracks describe me
a creature so long obsolete
that the cruelest of biographies
can't even begin to exhume me.