I venture out
onto fresh fallen snow
and examine footprints
of creatures who walked before dawn;
a rabbit, several gray squirrels, and a raccoon;
the raccoon leaving delicate impressions of his padded paws.
traverse the yard and curl
to embrace indigo shadows.
the birds, hours before, trampled the snow
beneath the feeders
leaving bare grass and seed litter.
I thought I was early, but really I have missed most
of the action. What remains is silent, and poised
like a stage still set, before the curtain falls
the actors gone, but the air still swirling with their movements.