The goldenrod lay hunched and sour and in ravines where snow
had softened in alder trees and red deer calves teetered.
He shoulders the canoe on windy cedar, red-waved knuckles
half-holding nails on gunnels, salted dents.
She lugs a pack, macintosh and strawberry, liquorice and wine,
and the trees swoon against her, shivering wingmoss, flour.
Speaking of flowers, white and impalpable, and birchpelts,
and my need to tarnish with beauty every crooked stone.
Do seasons retry, does god hibernate, wrestle with bears, knead snow
into muscles smooth and light with his soft and with shattered claws?