–after Mary Oliver’s “The Summer Day”

Sitting at a white table
over a glass of red wine
in the sheer glass and steel
of the temple to creativity
at the Centre for the Arts,
I look down the Bow Valley
at drifts of snow piled on snow,
tiny trees rising to tree line,
rock of the Rockies rising
around us, and wait to see
if, once more, at thirty below,
the white ermine with black eyes
will come to the window
and stand on its hind legs
to look in at me—both of us
curious, wanting to read
through the eyes of the other
another world—he, or she, was agile,
beady-eyed, one paw against the glass,
stretching up to look in,
as my neck craned looking out,
and behind her loomed
a giant snow bank, striped
with the marks of her slides—
play, she told me,
in your one wild life.