ask and thank

bird sound, something chickadee-like
coming from the bush/tree loaded
with juniper berries
one of which i pluck
and squeeze between my nails
to release that
blueblack earthy piney wintertime smell
the tiny sprig of sage
i twist off the bush
(asking first and thanking later)
and offer a sniff
to austyn
behind me on the trail
the jackrabbit
whose body is half-buried
the back half revealed, the front half – condition unknown under snow
fur of whites and grays and light browns

how i crouch down and lean in
to stroke
the softest softness
of exposed side and thigh

and how i carry this rabbit (spirit) with me
on our way down the path
from the lookout at falcon’s roost