A strange, soft storm of white flakes
is drifting out of the summer sky,
drifting past tall mountainside evergreens
onto the nets of golden lichens
hung from their boughs,
onto the bear-tracked shores.
This is not an unseasonal snow squall,
not a flurry of wind-borne seeds.
lt’s a fall of molted feathers from bald eagles
converging on the waterways by the hundreds,
bright heads and tails gleaming like beacons
all along the dark woodland slopes
Every river, every stream quivers
with salmon thrashing upcurrent to spawn
like rapids running in reverse.
If any more flowing juices
and beating hearts crowded in here
the place might start moving on its own.
Big trees, big birds, big fish, big bears,
immense peaks wrapped in great glaciers
that calve off into bays
where whales spout.
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