Brown Bear at Hallo Bay Tidal Flats
I sled along the windy blue and held tight
across the black -- star to tree and
not yet finding the last cabin
not yet finding the last wild
wooded cabin somewhere filed away among
the spruce and silence.
Christmas day is Christmas night
in the north country:
birch trees creak, night falls electric, the sun
a refugee to the bold white decrees of the moon:
a dark so deep only paw prints appear.
Then perhaps a vagrant chirp, a single lonely
solitary howl, a soft fall of very cold snow.
The north country has no directions
but always one last cabin,
one last slender limber of smoke in that
wilderness of Christmas hope,
one last one to bend
Those secrets among the trees!
And so it was again to that last cabin
with its climb of Christmas smoke
reached not so straight through the winter air.
Christmas is the bend in the smoke. It's always there.