Where The Heart Lies

The rare walk in the woods
fills memory
with its bird calls,
the scamper of squirrels
from limb to limb,
their leaps between trees.

Spring beds of may apples,
faint breath of air in summer heat,
the autumn tinge of sassafras,
winter bare limbs.

I follow the forest paths
of deer along ridges,
ground falling away
on both sides, then down
to rivulets and dry branches
far beneath, fingers
from Horse Creek
a mile away.

The brass clang
of the dinner bell
echoes across time
with vague recollections
of spider webs
and catching thorns
on the way back,

arrives at a landing
then three stairs
to a luncheon menu
rotating between
loneliness,
unspoken agenda,
bitter invective
and cold rage.

===
My entry for dVerse Poets’ Pub Open Link Night #43

Hunting

At Age Eight

Early morning pink
filtered through the forest canopy
while I aimed for stealth
enough to kill.

With every twig snapped
and leaf crushed
chill air bored through my bones.
My brother walked ahead
with the rifle and a quiet tread.

Tree limbs quivered
as chattering squirrels
ran unseen.

Then a sharp report and echo.
A small form dropped
through foliage
to the ground.
Red glistened on a green leaf.

I stood transfixed
by sightless, black bead eyes,
a body slipped into a canvas bag.

We moved on,
the whole world grown still
except my clodding feet.

I never learned to disappear.

At Age Eight

Early morning pink

filtered through the forest canopy

while I aimed for stealth

enough to kill.

With every twig snapped

and leaf crushed

chill air bored through my bones.

My brother walked ahead

with the rifle and a quiet tread.

Tree limbs quivered

as chattering squirrels

ran unseen.

Then a sharp report and echo.

A small form dropped

through foliage

to the ground.

Red glistened on a green leaf.

I stood transfixed

by sightless, black bead eyes,

a body slipped into a canvas bag.

We moved on,

the whole world grown still

except my clodding feet.

I never learned to disappear.