…glad to the brink of fear.
I glance back at the chartreuse bud, bowed
vertical on a towering magnolia, leafless, arrogant
to interrogation, its fuzzy silence in vigil
with a hundred other, staring the cold sky.
I round the trail up to a copse of pine, softened
with bright orange needles where I disintegrate
into breath smoke when struck by the light of two
black buck eyes; pelt twitch, nostrils wiggle,
two tentative steps forward: he's not
asking permission to breathe; stripped to a pulse
thrum, I vow to bear this moment out
with the steady composure of a winter bud patient
to unfold with spring, yet willing to let go
in the season when sun palms tender tepals.