It was not the owl, with moonlight in its feathers,
that gathered me up from my earthen bed
in the woods. It was not the owl, with its tarnished
beak, that called me to service.
It was not the bear, with its bee’s hive trumpet,
that summoned me either. It was not the bear,
with its sleepy growl, that opened the door
of the root-house.
It was not the wolf, with blood on its tongue,
that brought me blood when I was bloodless.
It was not the wolf, when the moon leant close,
that howled me awake.
It was not the worm, in its coat of tunnels,
that stirred me from death. It was not the beetle,
nor the mouse, nor the feral pig, that turned me
out of my shut room.
It was the cold, that fell from the pines when snow
was merely a rumour, that filled my mind
with life. When not even bones was I, or rotted flesh;
then did the cold rouse me out.
In my skin of pine needles, rotted lifetimes
of the trees, I am the blur deep in the woods.
I am the wavering light with each step you take.
I am the chill that clings to your thought.