Foggy Breath, by Jack Moran


Wicking pants slide against the nylon
Sleeping bag that I put my shoe inserts into
My eyes fight to open against frost covered lashes
And I can finally see the dead tree limbs dangle above me
The plastic sheets used to build my tent
Rattles to shake ice flakes to the floor
The stiff boots slide onto my feet
Where the door meets the winter landscape

My sight is filled with the view of clues
From visitors who came in the early morning hours
Raccoon paws litter the creek bed
Surrounded by yellow splotches of where deer stop
Dents in the ground can found
From where they rested close to us
Birds sing a morning melody
To start the day and wake the woods

The sun starts to take shape deep in the forest
It lights up the pine needles and snapped twigs
Which fell from the small patch of green
Pine trees that hide rabbits and all the secrets of a new day
I rake over coals still hot to the touch
And throw more snow to execute the heat
The scars of last nights dinner
Are easily buried and quickly forgotten

Three clicks result in butane and the smell of sulfur
Which meet electricity and burst to life
My hands are warmed tightly wrapped around my cup
Full of water stealing heat from its conjoined flame
A log becomes a chair on which i set
My bowl and spoon to relax
While the oatmeal cools before me
Bright and early breakfast fills my stomach for the hike out

Others begin to dress for the cold
And the campsite comes to life around me
No one stops to check the trees or creek
My study was unique to me
Bearing the weight of my weekends supplies
Pulling the sled through the fresh snow
I take one final look behind me
Taking in the sight of winter through the foggy breath