Fox tastes the first blood breathing in a fever.
Ragged to the bone, winter torn on her tail Fox lopes into a hunting night
along the cliff-edge burnt-out wastes, up and down ravines
in and out of shadowed patches of snow.
The sun rises over the ridge and touches the tip of Fox’s tail.
She stops and turns, pricks her ears to a cadence—
the creek rilling beneath cracking ice in the morning light.
The running water draws her racing along the bank,
she sips a trickle of its sweetness—
uncanny the way the seasons play at us like sirens in the sea.
High above the snowy ridge ravens circle in updrafts of wind
dragging spring off the mountain to set it raw upon the ground,
touching the anxious surface of the skin and shaking our dreams gone wild.
Peggy Beck’s poems and essays have been published under various names in magazines and anthologies. She is the author of several books and lives in the mountains of northern New Mexico where she is also a musician, artist, and works on habitat restoration projects in her watershed.