The Wild ~ Robin Chapman

When I wish to know
what it is to be wild
I come to the mountains—
Canadian Rockies at 30 below—

and sit at the window
watching the low sun’s arc,
the tumbling flight
of the sky scholars.

Mule deer browse by
or rest outside my window
viewing the mountain, or stop
to listen to Mendelssohn.

Once I’ve seen a cougar,
his paw on an elk
he’d covered in duff,
in the ravine below,

his eyes a well of wildness
as he looked up at me
and more than once
a trio of coyotes leaping,

a pine marten leading
her young one
through a tangle of branches
or tossing a vole

or leaning out of the tree
to assess my place
among creatures,
and on moonlit nights

I imagine I hear
the singing of mice
under the crystals of snow
and the owl’s silent passage