Northern Woodland

Thinking as you

I see the old place new

treading familiar pathways

softly in our shared territory

stepping back breathing it in

observing the execution of your ancient habits

comprehending the logic of your journeys

and the reasons why you move

 

Finding your shape pressed in the grass

where you halt before stepping

over the break in the rusted wire

where you scrape the soft earth

where you pass and have passed for millennia

where your prints are still fresh

the rubbed and scuffed trees

all the feral signs of your dangerous life

 

You are drawn here by fallen chestnuts

white oak acorns and each other

where the autumn sun warms the hillside

where you hide at noon by the clear waterway

the cool place where I spot you beneath the moon

 

Where paths converge in this enfolding valley

near the earthen dam above the small stream

by two trees I sit for hours

watch the frost evaporate

admire the morning mist

note the insistence of the woodpecker

and observe the passing of the day

 

Our moment is not so unique

each foot of living earth is

after all

a place for dying.

 

*

“Northern Woodland” – by Tullio DeSantis

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