In winter nights
we gathered to sing down the moon.
The moon looks down at everyone,
nights when her face is whole,
like a squirrel watching from a tree;
and she sees all hills the same.
Her face cries "Oh!" but no one hears.
That night we sang a star instead.
Who knows what hills a star can see,
where it looks, its face so small and far?
We knew the star was looking somewhere,
and we danced springtime by its light,
not mindful of the cold,
pups again in shiny snow.
It was, that snowy night, as if the rot of spring,
sweet as marrowbones, was suddenly upon us;
Rabbits, voles, and mice were everywhere again,
the deer no longer hungry, sweet with fat;
We smelled the scat of puppies whelped in dreams;
We smelled the quickening of breast with milk.
The bitches whined and worried, and we sang.
It was a good place, that starlit hill,
for pups, for meat,
It was a good time, that starlit night;
It promised spring.