The woods beyond my backyard garden
are not the forest primeval,
rather second growth, rising from
old pasture and apple orchard,
boundried by stone walls,
crossed by old roads, long unused.
Maples grow where wagons rolled.
Old round mounds, stone harvests,
woven with vines, branches, moss
sit like ancient hogans,
tribal burial grounds where
solitary blacksnake bakes and slithers.
These are not the untramped forest,
the manless depths,
the deerpaths green darkness.
Yet, still is established
the Old Law,
where carnage, stumbled on,
shivers the spine.
Circle of feathers left with
cracked skull and chipped,powdering skeleton.
Such is the way of things:
The earliest claim remains provananced.
The quick claim holds no precidence.
That which is alien:
desolves in rain and blood
into the soft, humus forest floor.