Handsome fellow this morning in soft overcast.
Late August at the Mouth of the Fraser River
The wind pulls the full blackberries gently
from their stems, the way a woman
removes her earrings after a dinner party,
sighing as her tongue forgets the wine
and her cheek her host's kiss. Nearby
in the boatless harbour, a muskrat swims
from darkness to moonlight, silk sliding
down the white flesh of a thigh, and on
the farther shore a pregnant doe steps out
of the woods to listen to the two red watches
ticking at two different speeds
between her tissue-paper ribs.
Silt from the mountains is filling the channel,
the slow current is making tails out of heads
on a coin dropped by one of Galiano's sailors,
and auburn is packing its only good suit
to go off on a journey through a million leaves.
The moment calls for us, but we're staying here
to allow the world its own sweet company, to
let the berries drop on the grass, the musk-
rat reach home, and the deer time her pause
by the water. Stay quiet a while, listen
to the ticking womb. Be in the world
while absent from it, like the sun,
the dead, the panting fawn.
Open Wide a Wilderness; Canadian Nature Poems,
Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2009, page 430.