She’s left the bed and blue ice behind.
On the ridge, a mother bear searches
sleepily for food. A hundred yards
below, her cubs dawdle and moan.
They sound like cats squabbling by
the fence line, their voices curiously
high. The girl is tireless in her long
walk through snow. Her snowshoes
leave netted prints as she passes
under juniper and pine.
She is looking for a ladder of stars.
Owls hoot from treetops, their wings
lost in shadow. She is looking
for the boy whose home is in the moon.
Her legs are long, she strides easily
with wind sifting through her hair.
Her hands are stained with berries
and bark. I have seen her hunting
by cold streams where deer gather
to drink in gathering dusk. She has
gone to the land of dreams and requires
nothing. Reverent fish whisper her
name, and all around the cold stars shine.
[Steve Klepetar’s work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Flutter Press has recently published two chapbooks: My Father Teaches Me a Magic Word and My Father Had Another Eye.]