Tracker

The snow drifts across
my father’s footprints
as my breath crystallizes in the night;

and my beard, whitened
prematurely
by condensation-

I have come to a clearing,
beyond the forest’s egress;
a place of rest in summer,
a cross-thatched game trail in winter.

The silence of this season lays heavy
and quiet, quiet
as the aurora dances
on the spine of the world.

Can you tell me
what will be taken from this?

The sound, the lack of sound,
the rage, the lack of rage,
the stripping of the ego?

We see each other then, the wolf and I,
our gaze locked outside of time-
with no violation or calamity,

the freezing of each our own breath
the only movement here
until we emerge, and move apart.

Whatever was shown
in the snow before has passed,
leaving only his tracks
and my own.

Do you see the mountain to the west?

Perhaps he will come down,
or I will go up…
and one of us will unthaw,
come spring.

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