And so I've come to these hills
to have a long look 

at the earth
and what it does to itself. 

After all the years of harvest,
clapboard towns, 

and muscle, it's time to see
what ice can do 

all year long. Between
the long gashes 

of freeze-brittled
sedges, crocuses 

push through
the frost 

with the blindness
and valor 

we thought was love. For
a week now 

the geese
have been rushing south, 

all the misery of sea-ice
at their backs. It's huge, 

how they pass,
shadows grazing 

the slow Columbia
as it makes its long, 

winding stab
toward the sea. 

The earth darkens
huge under the flight 

of geese. Its order
is always asking for a name 

always asking to be destroyed.
I go at it aslant, not reading,

not speaking to myself or anyone else,
counting the geese fly past 

one, one, one, one, one.