the ice and the sky are different shades of the same early morning, subtle pink through dreary white and beige and grey and the faintest of blue bouncing off from somewhere in between the browns of dried grasses and leafless trees.
i look down the frozen lake at the beaver lodge as I’m putting on my skates for the first time in almost a year, loosening the laces and then re-loosening the laces, finally my feet fit and slide in snug.
the cold air is still and awake and i am alive in it. i remember how to move, slowly, steadily, and probably not the most gracefully yet something so elegant about not lifting up clumsy feet, and pretending instead that i float on this water turned solid
i stay on the far side of the lake from the beaver lodge because things look watery over there, they break the ice around their lodge from below with their heads, or their tails , or something s says and the dusting of snow on the ice is perfect to see the tracks of a canine leading from our near shore to the lodge that just can’t be a domestic dog because dogs are too clumsy to make straight lines like that.
in the dream i have an extra outer layer of skin on my hands, thin and peeling and
cracked in many places.
inside the cracks i see small pantry moths crawling and cocooning and growing and i am just freaked out enough to tear away at the skin to rip off the outer layer.
to make myself a new skin i take a new piece of special paper and cut out the shape of a hand
hiking to the beaver ponds we have to thrash our way through overgrown mountain laurel and high bush blueberry, winding around swampy muck and side stepping sloshy puddles. t says wouldn’t it be easier if mammoths were still alive?, instead of deer trails, we would all just follow mammoth trails.
at first we hear the owls, barred?, and then the coyotes, two, maybe four?, announcing themselves with yips and howls, and we can’t help but
stop our hurried walking (the light is fading, and are we going to make it down the mountain before we can’t see anymore?) to smile and listen to everything that happens in this place at the edge of day and night
an indoor picnic of pomegranate, salted almonds, pickled onions and rhubarb apricot jam on toast
arranged on a milk crate table on a solid oak floor. and not to mention the piece of dark chocolate and the four paper bags of different types of seaweed hand-harvested off the coast of maine. tasting the differences between sea lettuce and kelp and irish moss
while wet boots balance on the edge of desk above the
radiator waiting to dry.