It’s five years since she saw
a mountain lion walk in our backyard
and the next day we saw his paw-prints
big as dishes following a slender deer.
Hard December then, mild one now,
a little sheet of ice that just won’t melt,
salt, and step careful. No beast left,
we have to make do with music,
that subtlest of all animals, fangs
in harmony. Lydian mode, footsteps
start on F above middle C, then
see what happens. The Greeks
thought this luxurious, naughty,
Asian attitudes, tigers, drunken gods.