In The Forest


near
the
forest in a field
staring wide-eyed still
soundlessly
deer, sshhh.

owl
falcon
wild turkey and
bees making
wild honey
live
here too.

near the river
there is a waterfall.

the water is a window i can
usually see the fish
all the way to the
bottom of any of the streams
that run off down into
the hills. throughout the

summer growing season
the ginkgo, oak, elm, spruce
and cedar -- chestnuts and
persimmon start to spread.

needles and leaves are scattered
upon the ground thick as a
carpet.

there is the heavy smell of pine gum.

the pine trees themselves touch
across the forest floor with a
turpentine,
fish bone, spiny-cone, clove-smelling
paint brush hand.

a green paint brush for a hand.

in the winter the snow is
cut sharply by thirsty ice on
a knife-like bank the edge of the
river slices against
my bare raw exposed ankles
trembling, moving quickly
in the cold running
pebble-bottomed brook.

can’t forget to wear your
socks in the winter.

like, i always try to get away
with it anyway. better
than getting my socks
wet when i break
the ice with my feet like
i usually do. the cold
feels good though.
at least, at first, until i
get home into the warmth
and then my toes start to
sting. better luck next
time. next time the crack
from the crashing ice
won’t send the deer
running for the next county.

near the forest in a field
staring wide-eyed large
eared white-tailed the
color of wood and dry grass
inside the sounds underneath
the sounds i make with
my wide-track feet are
the deer again, sshhh. a bird
i hadn’t heard before
sings under the whisper of a
deer’s breath. sounds a lot
closer than i thought.
i turn slowly and back down
in my mind, you know. deer
can kick. they aren’t really
that small when you are
practically standing right
next to them.

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