Day tumbles from the valleys to the far outreaching hills,
to the innocent of verbiage, the swallows and the rills
that dive with limpid wingbeats to the river deep below
that smells of fish and limber pine, of granite sleek and snow.
A single herdsman treads the path, eyes locked upon the earth,
a fox hangs cold within in his grip, its red jaws stiff with mirth –
a laugh at dying life it is, at irony of day,
to gleam so bright, so sure, so swift, and then be snatched away.
The sheep all hunched like boulders in a muddy close-cropped field,
the calves that bawl at evening as the stream with ice is sealed,
the men in lonely houses with their families and fun,
they and the earth that bears them – so soon to be undone.
We think alas in human terms, in hours, years and lives,
while everywhere around us a childless darkness thrives.
© Mike Bond 2012
First published by the Montana Poetry Society