365 Poems/48 Deep Winter (Rough First Draft)

Deep Winter

The elk,

weakened by deep

snow drifts,

pauses, like thunder

that has frozen.


He misses a flash

of pale fur

at the edge of

the thicket,


but can hear

the croak of a raven.


There is nothing.

Then they are everywhere,

and he can smell their hunger.


Mountains watch.

The valley echoes with

clashes of bone, antler and teeth.


The alpha male

releases the heavy throat,

pauses while

the corpse settles,

then opens the belly,

releasing a warm haze

into the freezing winter night.