looking around
you keep in mind the profound
surface of things

“House, Tree, Sky”, Martha Collins

Burnished with a hard blue wax, my skis
slip into these woods—the jack pine,

the juniper, the spruce. I’m learning
to glide, to relax, to pole,

not push, in the two-lined tracks.
Deeper into the woods, cold

whispers between purple shadows;
a cardinal in the throat of winter

holds the world stark white
against himself and sings.

The air, like a mint,
is formal.

The contours of winter, nearer
the deeper I go;

and the stillness I am skiing through
deeper still.