I’ve grown used to sullen light at last; I like it.
I hope for another storm, another white-blue private affair.
But south-facing slopes are starting to melt, and the sun is lingering
around the back door until suppertime, waiting for handouts.
Skunks are certainly starting to think about breeding. I can feel
their shushing waddle at night at the compost bin,
pulling striped hoodies over heads, perfecting invisible scavenging.
Up here in February, land is known to the fox: they are stealth and zigzag,
moving through woods with parallel gravity.
I might be the fox. I move horizontal to horizon,
crouching low to scrabble through brambles for spring.
Still, snow blankets wind and smothers it.
I hold snow-white pillows over my head to block the wind,
but I can breathe under the snow.
The ice is known to deer: they paw out on ponds to see what gives.
Cold frozen light will give way to streams, and to the fox
that makes haste through forests. Whatever winter is, it isn’t progress.
It’s a shortcut back to the first cold beginnings.