Tracks in Snow

Christmas Eve 2019

A cougar had wandered
down the streambed.
The warmth of her paws
fused the snow into ice
and her tracks erased
the hoofprints of the deer she followed.

Some narrow hooves still appeared
in the new snow that quieted the valley,
and left no space for shadows
under the trees.

I’ve found signs there all year—
all the wildlife that’s passed through that hollow,
like through the narrow of an hourglass.

Poem by Alex Leavens

Alex Leavens has worked as a naturalist for the Portland Audubon Society, backcountry ranger and firefighter in the Olympic National Park, and primitive survival instructor in Southern Utah. His poetry has appeared in Cirque, Windfall, Perceptions Magazine, Clover, Cathexis NW, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Frogpond, and Modern Haiku.