Light’s Slow Return

Two days now into celebrating
Winter Solstice when days lengthen
by mere minutes as daylight
creeps slowly back onto the land

Although snow will blanket pastures
winter has lost its sting with this
stealthy addition minute by minutes
of precious light we’ll hail in the spring

I count the seconds before dark
drives me in from the trails
drag my feet as ruts threaten
deer already moving in behind me

Breathe in the last of day
pungent with bruised cedars
hear the rustle in the switch grass
as silence eases down to rest

Beside sleek bodies does
and yearlings the buck still
alert yet sure this is a place of peace
that treasures light’s slow return.