You see his grizzly tracks,
your father’s tracks,
in autumn snow,
like poetry across a white page.
You wonder how those first words were written,
how cold the forest,
where he roamed,
a bear in wanderlust,
sometimes under moonlight, sometimes
shrouded in the wind.
You follow those tracks
to where the snow ends.
Ahead, the unfamiliar night,
the dark and disappearing ground
where you think the tracks have gone.
to guide, no scent,
only the claw marks on the bark of trees
like a secret language.
The days of young grizzlies,
the instinct of words,
and you with you animal compass,
slow along your way.
Aden Thomas grew up in central Wyoming. Previously, his work has been featured in The Inflectionist Review, Turtle Island, and Up The Staircase Quarterly. His first collection of poems, What Those Light Years Carry was published by Kelsay Books in 2017. He has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. More at: www.adenthomas.com.