The first hard freeze last night, ferns turning brown, geese are restless, on the move
Black bird, raven, gliding
on cold, damp air, croaking
the gutteral, plangent song
of the old, feathered god.
The dogs run through ditches
where ferns are laid down
by wind and rain to sleep
under the weight of snow.
They are born mousers,
bird-eaters, rabbiteers, pouncing
sisters of the coyote clan.
They shake off water, head to tail,
but I cannot shake the sensation of slipping
over the edge into the pit of darkness.