It was this: gauzy breath of things, a wild perfume
settled on grass and leaf, and whirring wings about me,
the wash of light sheer raiment falling to earth.
Saltwater marsh, wetland woods, mudflats spread out.
Stepping down the path, heart’s beat pulling me along,
and different tattoos of footprints wound about stones.
Mountains rose up, far off as loved ones.
The tableau revealed the paucity of what I knew
and was trying to learn but always, a simpler woman stirred.
Water rested, shone of myriad worlds above,
below, beyond to deeper, deepest waters. The greenest life.
I was as a twin, outside while also still myself:
to sense all that drank, rested, snarled, predated,
slipped into murky green and blue, fur and hooves,
tails and claws that flew and teeth that tore and ears
that pricked long before any small knowing
came to such as myself, a lesser being,
neophyte of nature’s finer absolutes.
Struck dumb by love for all I do not comprehend,
lost to amazement again–I took it in, held it close
Elderberries, bear-berries, salal berries
leaned this way and that. And my legs went weak
as I recalled their bounty meant for wild things.
Day’s revealing light began to cool,
water lulled each side of a narrow path.
No sound followed but a sigh from within
family of grasses, scrunch of bushes.
Trees gathered up shadows and light
like gatekeepers of that country.
But I felt the others. Tell me not otherwise,
they were there and noses lifted, paws stilled,
ears came awake–
black bears, a cougar or bobcat and coyote.
And this was not–despite my adoration–
our common hunting ground.
Not my moody sky to cover
my differentness in the coming night.