The geese have flown south for winter.
V-formation steadily directs away from me
until only a speck in the sky.
Echoes of their honks linger long after
birds are out of sight.
I am left alone in a frozen landscape,
surrounded by mounds of dirty ice
untouched by a teasing Chinook passing through town,
its gift of warmth followed by cerulean skies and cold nights.
I awaken to a pink, glowing sunrise,
eastern clouds painted brilliant shades of golden orange,
bittersweet apricot and tints of tangerine.
I am startled from my daybreak reverie by enclosing silence.
Absence of my feathered friends
creates an absence of purpose.
Instead of scattering harvested grain to supplement
diets of my feral flying fowl,
I collect my ricocheting thoughts,
settle into an overstuffed chair, warm cup of tea in hand,
and a book I have been wanting to read.
Black print on a white page cannot distract my longing
to hear from my friends.
Sadness puts an arm around my shoulders,
shadows me throughout my days.
Sometimes I sprinkle kernels of grain atop newly fallen snow
for shy ptarmigan that look surreptitiously at me from afar.
I am happy to provide a treat in this harsh climate
but my heart remains true to the geese.
I yearn for the first honk that will reach my covered ears,
a raspy, grating sound demanding attention,
unlike the gentle coo of a dove,
a honk to announce:
Spring and renewal are just around the corner