In the bottle-brown river ice is cracking, thawing by day, buds sprung up on the ends of aspen branches, snow melted to dark patches on the red rock cliffs,
south winds blow in gusts. This warm February some say is from earth changes. They bear witness who once knew the face of hard freeze, deep
winter that held them in its white grip into April. Now we read everything around us as a sign— steady gaze of the mountain sheep come down
from high terrain to feed in the cemetery field, inky-tailed magpies vying over fresh road kill, shallow footprints of deer in the forest’s thin layer.
How we have long taken everything on trust: years of green-needled pines, summer’s blue and full rivers, rain to fill field, ditch, and grass enough to feed.
Beth Paulson lives in southwestern Colorado where she leads the Poetica Workshop and co-directs the Open Bard Literary Series. Her poems have been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and her fifth collection is Immensity (Kelsay Books, 2016).