As the creek clogs with mud, as trillium,
calypso, and lady’s slippers lift into the dozer’s
gaped mouth, as pileated woodpeckers
sink beaks into the widow makers’ rotted hearts,
as the kingfisher hovers above the silt-thick water
for the last time, rattle dying in its mouth,
then beats across the sedge and saw grass heavy
with seed toward the blue scar in the east,
as sun enters a mist-beaded web, the spider,
gone now, having swung from the maple’s top branch
to stitch a stretch of wind to the pokeberry,
top-heavy, laden with dark fruit, first light
slant in the distance, rain just ended, fog curling
from the fields’ ruts and shallows, a rabbit freezing
in a hawk’s shadow, as the chainsaw revs up
to a high-pitched scream, I feel it, the earth shaking loose,
rotted teeth falling out one by one, groaning to a halt,
feel it shudder and roll off its one great root.


Photo By: Paul Stein