21. Lent

Flakes of pink leathery birch
twirl in soft gusts. Warm wind
over melting snow polishes icy
water to a glaring tint.

At dusk Rugaroo walks the length of the roof,
leaps down, runs through thick brush.
Past the lake, still glass reflecting
spring’s purple nightfall.

Trees scratch the pregnant moon
hanging low,
illuminating just enough
to entice everyone -
come out.

A crossroads bartender
opens the liquor-splattered door.
Rank souls and foul spirits spill out,
roll across the field,
and rush raw into Rugaroo’s nostrils.
His eyes shine in the moonlight.

Quick steps leave soft prints
as his hooves tap the crisp top layer
of the refreezing snow.
Drunken blither gargles
jukebox Hank and Waylon.
Played-out, routine, it masks
the hoof steps approaching.

Worn linoleum floors can’t warn,
but a small stash of sweetgrass
deters vicious essence tendencies.