This was written when I was out in Montana near a town called Wolf Creek, and it's another love poem.
The River at Wolf
Coming east we left the animals
pelican beaver osprey muskrat and snake
their hair and skin and feathers
their eyes in the dark: red and green.
Your finger drawing my mouth.
Blessed are they who remember
That what they now have they once longed for.
A day a year ago last summer
God filled me with himself, like gold, inside,
deeper inside than marrow.
This close to God this close to you:
walking into the river at Wolf with
the animals. The snake’s
green skin, lit from inside. Our second life.
from The River at Wolf (Alice James Books, 1992), © Jean Valentine 1992, used by permission of the author and the publisher. Poetry Foundation recording made on 10 July 2007, New York