Color comes with cold and wet
within the canyon, even before
the creek flows or sycamores burn
leather brown to shed their clothes—
white bodies tangled in a pagan dance
to gods unknown. Orioles return
as sparks in the brush, levity
in the pink overcast of dawn.
We glean the fallen skeletons
of oak and brittle manzanita
to fill the woodstove. Curious cattle
come to wonder what we’re about.