Oct 152007

In the night
Purple asters
Curl inside themselves
Give death to autumn

And I
Stand beside the river
Let leaves
Slide from the sky
To shiver against my skin

October falls asleep
Her mute mouth
Pressed against
Roots and dust
She dreams the dark
Beds of elk mothers
Among willow and
Barren alder

She dreams
The wind as it pulls
At yellowing mistletoe
And the red brambles
Of my hair

Among the nettles
She dreams a green birth
Under a blessed snow
The rocks are red
Wet with icy rain
Slick as a beating heart
Laid bare
In the hunt

The hollow click
Of empty chambers
Troubles the sleep
Of a she-bear
Blanketed in red leaves
Roots and a slow rain

Gunshots echo
From ridges
Rife with tired men
The elk mother
Leaps on unshaking legs
She clears barbed wire
Leaves clumsy hunters
Fumbling in their own fences
Far behind

October smiles
And turns over
In her bed
Of dust, wood-smoke
And darkening sky