Blood on the snow

Blood on the snow,
tracks everywhere,
under the low branches
of conifers.

The barrel still hot;
steam in the air
mingles with the breath
of barking dogs.

In the high branch
the grey owl sleeps
but down below
the deer stumbles.

A searing pain,
deeper than antlers' reach,
spreads the ice within,
dims the eye, cuts the breath.

The bed of snow,
softer and softer,
witnesses, alone,
the Spirit flee.

A last jerk, unvoluntary,
then dogs tear flesh.
A whisle calls them heel.
An owl shifts.

October 8, 2013.

© 2013 Christopher Mahan