At first light
he brings in wood –
the stove’s breakfast,
notices the icicles
rows of clear thorns
crimson dawn 
frozen inside them now, 
but persuadable
to the colors
morning will bring.

Footprints to the wood pile,
footprints back, otherwise
whiteness silently laid,
a sheet waiting to be written
by the sky, arriving,
its coming measured by
chill breaths in the morning air,
nostrils jolted, 
body heat fleeing like a soul.  

He returns, holding
the heavy comfort 
of the living wood,
this familiar strain of warm muscle
against the heaviness of cold grain,
its weight and texture in his arms
an ancestral memory.
He pounds his way back, 
steps slow and heavy with the load,
feeds the fire,
and inside the gathering warmth
filling with the smell of coffee and eggs,
lets her wake slowly. 

© Jonathan Bohrn (2005) (bounding of Elements)
Footsteps in snow
Snow in Saskatchewan
© 2002 Michael & Jane Madden


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