It’s late afternoon on a warm day
in the cold month of my birth.
I step outside & listen
to the familiar drumming of a pileated woodpecker
on some dead tree, husk hollowed out, rigid frame
resonant as it never was when sap still flowed.
There’s a throaty snowmelt gurgle
from the ditch beside the cattails.
The field is nearly bare, while the woods
still harbors a soggy white carpet.
Paint flakes from my once-white house
like molting fur, & the second-story window’s
reflection of tree & sky is the only pure thing —
I’d pray if I thought it made a difference.
But the damned snow
is going native as fast as it can.
The phrase in italics was taken from Todd’s last poem. The title of this series, newly adopted, refers to the physiographic province in which Todd and I live, I near the top of one of the ridges (Brush Mountain) and he in the adjacent valley to the west (Logan Valley), about seven miles away.