Coming Home At Twilight
Coming down the trail at twilight,
I am perilously close to
being stranded in darkness.
Earlier I had figured
I could ski the loop
before it got dark.
I was wrong.
But I know where I am,
and in the dwindling light
I see the trail, and the trail
will bring me home.
It is snowing hard.
When I stop, the only sound in the forest
is snow falling on snow.
About to push off
and begin the long downhill run
back to the logging road,
I hear just above my head
a sound like the comforter
being moved as my wife turns in her sleep.
I look up and see a huge snowy owl,
wings wide spread,
gliding down the same trail,
staying below the branches,
occasionally pumping huge wings
to navigate around a tree.
My eyes follow the owl down the glide path
until he disappears in the twilight and snow.
I am left alone in the growing darkness,
hearing again only the sound of snow,
wondering if the owl is going home, too.