91 / 365 – By morning

The brittle brown grasses matted with clumps of snow. Battered and bent low by the winds from the north. In a gray morning the rain falls softly. Snow and ice drip down and course gently away on unseen rivulets.

The air is heavy with water, rain, the first wakings of green. A soft steady rustling as it falls on barren limbs, torn stalks, on thawing pools. The small lavender heads of pasque blossoms poke through the thicket and on the low rise, sprinklings of white and lavender amid the brown. 

Buffalo cluster in a low swale. Their heads sway from side to side like pendula, scouring the grass of snow, clearing green shoots. A young calf, not yet weaned, wanders toward something faint, white in the grass.

A pack of wolves threads its way through the narrow reaches where the hooves of buffalo and elk and deer parted the prairie. Unseen. They walk on, steadily, fanning out on a flat plain, following the trails borne on the wind. 

Down in the valley the grass grows tall enough to hide the head of a man. A silent figure steals toward the riverbank, spear in hand. There, splashing feet in the pooling water. A herd of elk crosses, the calves stumbling on the unfamiliar cold grip of the water, bounding up the far bank.

A raft of mallards walk on the ragged white surface of a pond. In spots the ice streaks with teal and gray. The surface has melted and the ducks splash in and out.

Light cracks through the morning clouds. Beams light a far rise. The air still chills.

A lone cottonwood on a small rise on a draw. A murder of crows looking on from its branches. Their chatter and rasp carried away east toward the sun. 

I move like light. I am light.


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