My fiancée’s aunt takes us to look for owls.
We wear ice cleats. New family, new ways,
but I’m an indoor cat (cats are another thing
I’ve had to learn). I am new at this, new
as the ring on my finger, but my love
puts on earmuffs and glows in the full moon.
I pull up my hood. We stand in a circle
and strain for owl calls. Who-cooks-for-you?
Who-cooks-for-you? my new aunt calls, but no,
no owls come. Stillness. I hear the highway
and people shifting their weight, the ice cracking.
I’m an indoor cat, bundled up, impatient, but
I won’t ruin this pristine moment, not with
my love standing eager in the pale light.
I brace myself for a long and frozen watch.
But the wind dies down and the quiet trees
shield us as best they can. In my borrowed boots,
I stamp up and downhill, crushing crystals,
making the path safe. The night dilates our eyes.
as we wait in the cold, in the bright forest hush,
standing next to each other, facing out.