Like gravity ushering mercury free from a broken thermometer,
prayer spirits my anger away and leaves me empty and clear.
I look at the world I ignored during my indignation.
Winter sun flashes and plates the snowless earth silver,
and all that is in it, silver, more silver.
Cottonwood leaves lie fallen in heaps—
currency from handsome silver-barked trees.
Angling sunlight polishes dirt till it glints,
and a flurry of feathers, dappled and beige—
even they somehow shine silver, silver as notes
from the throat of a thrush. A man
all in camouflage perches among the tree branches,
holding his breath, a rifle at rest on his knees,
his back warmed by sunshine that burnishes him
like a silver milagro, a talisman somebody
placed there in homage and hope. He waits
for the silver-furred deer to step into his sights,
but I scared them off with my footfalls.
Now, from the silvery floor of the canyon,
a great languid tree trunk, surrendered
and skinned clean of bark,
invites me to rest in its crook with my pen and my book,
so I can write all this down before it gets dark.