Groundhog Day

It’s not his own shadow he looks for
but the shadows of hawks.
He has stirred from hibernation
not to forecast but to inspect
others’ burrows—to scout for mates.
His lust is still containable,
a faint mutter like an underground stream
or a sleepwalker’s obstreperous
small intestine. He serves it
more in faith than in urgency,
a reluctant prophet answering a call,
for he’s exposed to the sky
in a way he isn’t used to:
there’s no grass, no cover,
the meadow has a new, white surface
& the sun too is strange—it gives
no heat. He freezes, wary
as it emerges from its burrow
behind a snowcloud.

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