Hard Winter

The crow, feathers frayed hung
halfway between down and death,
hovers as the deer lays down
her bones, soft-bellied on the edge
of stone, hooves etched across
the moss, fetal, though large, tucked,
all limbs drawn beneath her throat,
breath refusing to come back,
time locking her jaw, bunching
bone and flesh. The air is still,
a silence floating over tall trees,
these trees and others, no longer
green and slowly growing until
the moment is painted green
as envy for small blue things.
These are the shortest days, late
dark, early dark, dark turning
inward, the deeper silence, sudden
distances sinking deeply into
the muddy caves of our own
bodies where we dream, practice
our own deaths, remind
ourselves all flesh is grass.