Nothing green or luxuriant remains.
This field of snow is a severe parchment.
A few autumn grasses penetrate its crust.
Collaborating with the wind, thin stalks
and seed heads scratch back and forth.
This field of snow reveals some basics.
On its plain whiteness, rabbits, mice, coyotes
inscribe histories of frenzied survival.
Throughout the winter they track this field
with skittish penmanship. Their deaths,
blotting it red, are out in the open.
But beneath the snow, voles and weasels
knot into warmth, where no fundamentalist tract
in white and black spellsl out their dreams.
— Elizabeth Schultz
Having retired from the University of Kansas in 2001, Elizabeth Schultz now balances scholarship on Herman Melville and on the environment with writing essays and poems about the people and places she loves. She has published two critical works on Melville, two collections of poetry, one book of short stories, and published her scholarship and poetry widely.