It’s late afternoon in this nether world.
It could be morning.
Even dawn feels like dusk.
Like every other creature here.
I’m known to the world by the depth,
the shape, of my footprint.
Deer, raccoon, possum, man…
all beholden to our spoor.
Crows grip to the barren limbs above,
dressed as undertakers
but intent on devouring not burying their dead.
A hungry owl hoots in the distance,
still invisible despite the lack of green.
A dead squirrel is wrapped in a cocoon of ice.
No decent burial, a decent meal must do.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.