five-fingered wing

i walk into the forest to

kiss the spirit of my heart.

i inhale the frozen oxygen

of a mid-december day. it

melts on my tongue and

flows into my lungs. my

eyes catch the movement

of gray fox behind the dying

ash. “mr. fox, you are getting

fat, are you sharing the bread

i leave you?” he grins and

growls and shakes his bushy

tail in the air. i lean on my

walking stick listening to the

persistent crow. “have you

brought me my corn and

cigarettes,” he asks in a

william burroughs caw. i

tip my hat to him and drop

them at his feet. in gratitude,

he drops a trinket shimmering

in the sun into my hand from

his five-fingered wing. the

canadians are dancing their

annual ballet across the sky,

singing a halleluiah serenade to

their loves. ground squirrels

scurry collecting walnuts and

acorns. they anticipate a long,

stinging winter. camouflaged

in gold ferns, they hide in the

shadows from the owl. it

saddens me to know their fear.

i disguise myself in the cherry

woods to escape the talons

of my enemies wishing to

rip the flesh from my bones.

i look for stones polished by

the spring that will soon be

frozen. my pockets are heavy

with their magic. the deer will

be feasting at dusk. the blue jays,

black birds, sparrows and cardinals

will join us too, the turkeys will

come and go as they please. we

will smile at the sleepy eyes of

the black bear. the selfish eagle

is a bigot and will not join us.

he has forgotten the names of

his mother and father. he is

always at war. if i climb the

pine tree i could see the

prairie where the antelope

play, the empty fields of a

good harvest, hear the

whisper of the wind, and

touch the grey clouds in a

hurry to welcome the moon.

the forest holds my hand. he

knows my secret ways. his

promise is to keep me warm

through winter and bless me

again in spring. i will always

trust the voice of the forest.

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