For Aldo Leopold

He scryers by firelight
flickering years
released in the good oak's
rings
decades of sun and rain
released in the red, blue flame-
the heat
that pierces the biting wild he loves
but so coldly his back pricks with a late snow-

a reminder of what can fell a man
as easily as the bough he now burns,

and he drinks in the slightly bitter, frothy amber ale
scryering by firelight
becoming heady, dizzy, enthralled
until his wife calls him inside
just as the coyote calls him out.