background image
of our
complicated and
clumsily aimed
Of birds the big fl icker
his cry from a treetop clanging
in the fi rst light: how to begin.
And the deer, for the body's lightness, surprised
at mid-day, russet and a hint of antlers
over the green bushes then gone,
as if he had not been in motion but hanging there
when the whole forest shifted a little
and concealed him --
the bear for knowledge
in detail -- there is no other -- of his terrain, and
for his unhurried gait
that takes him so rapidly
where he wants to go, his company
his solitariness -- and for his capacious
robe of sleep for the long cold and darkness,
and in the new grass by the footpath out back
the green and yellow striped
garter snake that shows every time
how innocence startles,
the snail for his hush,
the grasshopper, of insects, for alertness
and his lucky look