I was on an unintended winter walk
through a quiet streamside forest.
We call it a Bosque in these parts;
that’s the old Spanish name.
I had nowhere to go and on this day,
no Frosty promises to keep.
This season has a bony feel to it
when nature is falling into sleep.
The lay of the land is discovered.
Muscle and bone are revealed
as the golden leaves fall and curl,
the grasses turn brown and brittle.
Listen, and feel, as you stray off the trail
to the crunch of the grass under your feet.
Deer tracks cross your path, just hours old,
and a large Coyote. The stream pulls them.
It never freezes over – an artery flowing even
in the coldest heart of winter.
Nature’s engineering is exposed to those
who stop to look for it. Tree trunks display
their common design. Seed pods open to
the wind as parachutes sail off to a new life.
Grassy seed heads bend but do not break.
I pass by and scatter the seeds.
The canyon walls have specks of white.
We are in December, our coldest month,
and have had a taste of snow. It never lasts.
The sun chases it away in hours, or a day.
It lingers only where the sun can’t find it;
protected by the shade and the cold nights.
The weather rules this time and place.
There is a change in the air. It seems
something Is always coming or going.
Off in the distance the clouds
trek over the mountain wall as the
winter sun turns frail and sets.
* * *
The Home Place – 2019