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23 & 24 & 25 & 26
There is the smooth meadow, the low
mountains and the White River
on the far side; Herefords graze
among snow patches; a ditch
with willow brush, and a fence,
barbed-wire, stop me. From somewhere
woodsmoke threads the cold, sweet air,
killdeer cries his skittery
alarm, blackbird goes chirr -- tring!
wind whoos low and steady from
behind me, chilling the back
of my ears; whoo. Now and then
a snowfl ake. Look for a pole,
she had said, with a white ball
on it. "It's a quarter-mile
from the road, and hard to see.
But it marks the actual site
in that hayfi eld." I see white
in the glasses, but whether
it's the white ball or a bit
of the snow all the cattle
have trampled in the long grass,
I cannot make out from here.
Whoo, in the stillness. Some cows
come and shine their eyes at me,
the bear that reached the other
side of the mountain -- and then
he couldn't see what he saw.