Sunday, December 20, 2009

Howdy gang, here's a new poem. I hike in the woods alone a lot and having been educated as an environmentalist, I touch, tear into, study or talk to everything. My wife hates to go with me because of that tendency. Enjoy the poem

Hike 10/6/09

Mile one

The wind, the western sun, arrange the trees’
performance of a mottled-shadow dance.
I catch a maple leaf, half red, half green.
A leaning birch displays its golden dress.

Mile two

I cross a maze of hemlock roots that hide
a marsh and dodge a ragged spider web.
The spider’s gone, but left a bundled meal
behind, still fastened to a lower spoke.

Mile three

A stretch of guts, a naked spine, a skull.
I kneel and finger scattered hair. It’s strange
that hedgehog quills should ever feel so soft.
I hold the lower jaw up to the dying light.

Mile four

It’s dark. I fumble to unlock the car,
and set the jawbone on the dash. The jaw
remarks, Go home. This time the death’s not yours.

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