what do they see?

Last week, six elk passed my window as I sat at my desk, musing. And this morning, at 6:30, I looked out to see the waning gibbous moon tangled in the highest limbs of the fir trees to the south of our house. And just before sleep last night, a northern saw-whet owl calling quite close (maybe even in those same fir trees). What do they see, looking at our house from their place in the trees or just passing at the edge of the forest? The elk saw me watching them and dissolved into the woods. But they did see me, sitting at this desk, through the window. I don’t know about the owl. Did it wait until it saw our lights go out to begin its night-hunting? I looked just now for a sign of it — white-wash or pellets filled with tiny bones below the trees. But nothing. As for the elk, they left a trail of droppings and the deep print of their toes in soft moss. And the moon? A memory of its soft-edged shape in the trees, its light.

March 21

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