Other Grace

Freight train
in the sky – nothing
sacred against such
storms as these. No
grace of quiet snow,
but ice and freezing
rain, and wind so wild
it strips the shadows
from the stars and lays
them on our souls, our
restless hearts. And finally
in darkness, nothing
left to see but who
we really are.

Full Sunday Moon

Tonight when the moon rises
you will be alone, the house
quiet – quiet as the air

that does not move one budding leaf
on the cottonwood, quiet
as the red beta sailing

through the fish tank, and inside
a stillness so sweet that you
may sit for an hour to watch

four deer chewing softly
on the lawn, and the jagged
alpenglow on the mountain –

a pink so certain that you
are sure to pay attention, remembering
that you and the world

are meant for this dusk, meant
to greet the fullness of the rising
moon, meant for grace.

Death and Snow

17 days later,
and the carcass
remains –

leg still corkscrewed
between rails
of fenceline,

back haunch
still intact as if
death delivered yesterday,

but above the upper thigh
(or below as the case may
be, as the deer

hangs upside down
by her ankle), the
flesh is no longer.

Between pink stained
ribs, the wind blows
without the knowledge

that a network of cells
once hummed here.
Fur becomes dirt –

brown patches
upon brown patches.
Most striking are the

footprints, rays of sunlight
emanate from the carcass
in all directions, revealing

a grand gathering
of scavengers summoned
to bring grace to the site 

of this necessary death,
helping nature to wrap arms
around the bones and blood,

fur and flesh,
in one last act of humility,
so that she may disappear

into everything
without the infamy
of hanging upside down

by one ankle
in this empty pasture,
for all the world to see.